My family has a soft spot for Boxers (the dogs, not the athletes). Currently, we have a Boxer named Duke.
He is, to quote one of my uncles angry at his exploits in the pipe field, “dumb as rocks.” Personally I think it’s just an act. Duke can be quite cunning when he wants to be.
One particular Thanksgiving my family had gone to my Grandma Joy’s. My mom wanted to make sure there would be plenty of leftovers, so she had made dozens of rolls for us to eat that night and through the weekend.
We also had pies, stuffing; even another turkey in the fridge.
We love Thanksgiving.
Duke was sitting placidly in his pen when we left. The moment the car was out of sight, however, he went to work.
He got the pen’s door opened and he and our other Boxer, Daisy, frolicked in the grass for a while. Daisy, now deceased, was an angel who never did anything wrong. She was perfectly content to fritter away her freedom basking in the autumn sun. Duke was another matter. He had been an inside dog under his previous owner, and desperately wanted to get back inside. One of my siblings had not completely shut the back door, and Duke quickly took advantage of it.
The rolls were practically defenseless. Even Daisy joined in on the Thanksgiving Day Roll Massacre.
When we came home, bloated and sleepy, Duke and Daisy streaked out of the house as fast as they could, waddling towards their pen. Mom was enraged.
We also discovered several dismembered stuffed animals on the lawn; the dogs had discovered my sisters’ stuffed bear collection and has savagely murdered the entire community.
About a year later Duke and Daisy were in the yard with my brothers while my Mom was putting laundry on the clothesline. I was on the computer, nuking the French.
My lunch was sitting on the table, where I had set it while launching my virtual missiles. I heard the door open and assumed it was my mom coming in from the yard. I turned around a few minutes later…and my lunch was gone. Duke was sitting just outside the door trying to look innocent. The cream on his face was a dead giveaway, however.
That winter I was sent out in a blinding snowstorm to clear the sidewalks. Duke and Daisy always look miserable in their cage, so I let them out to play in the snowdrifts. I had not completely shut the back door though. The sound of breaking china emanated from the kitchen window.
I assumed it was my mom. I even heard her start cleaning it up, the shards of glass being swept across the floor.
Several minutes later I heard screaming. Duke came dashing out of the house with my mother shouting blasphemous oaths behind him, waving a shard of china. As he passed me, I heard a loud burp. Duke had pushed the butter plate off of the table-and eaten an entire cube of butter.
What I had thought was the sound of Mom cleaning it up was in fact just Duke pushing the shards across the floor as he licked up the remains.
We have gotten much better at shutting doors and watching the Duke. His banditry has lessened due to our vigilance and his advancing age. However, eventually opportunity will strike.
And the Canine Bandit will ride again.