Our new black hound Tommy has a fondness for bags. Plastic bags, rubbish bags, gym bags, and his particular favourite, handbags. If there is a bag within reach, he will pick it up by the handle and carry it around the house in his mouth. Tommy is learning that bags are not meant to be played with, particularly when they belong to other people - but just at the moment, they seem to be his version of Mila's squeaky toys. It's quite sweet really...until he discovers that the bag he is carting about contains STUFF that must be explored.
And that's what happened the other night when I left my handbag on the chair in the lounge (first mistake) and went to bed. At the bottom of the bag was a long forgotten apple (second mistake). Also inside, were my sparkly new smartphone, my headphones and my watch (third, and most expensive, mistake).
In the middle of the night, Tommy got up from his bed to stretch his legs. Stretching the legs usually involves uncurling yourself from the bed and doing a circuit of the lounge, before returning to the bed and going back to sleep. Except on this particular night, Tommy's circuit of the lounge led to a very interesting discovery...the handbag.
A muzzle of the bag's interior uncovered the apple sitting innocently at the bottom. But to get to the apple, we had to get past the cellphone, the headphones and the watch. Of course, each of these items is interesting enough on its own...Tommy had struck gold!! He carried the bag over to his bed to get a better look at the contents. Then out they came, one by one, or perhaps all at once - I wouldn't really know, I was still sound asleep. The watch had a nice chewy, rubbery strap which is now gone. The headphones were bendy with nice foamy ear buds...and the phone? Well, the phone's screen lit up and its case was just the right combination of chewy and tough - the perfect chew toy for the technologically-minded Greyhound.
Sometime after Tom's exploration was complete, he decided that he needed to go out to the toilet - and very thoughtfully came down to the bedroom to let us know. The excitement of all that chewing must have really done a number on him. So, I put on my slippers and feel my way down the hallway in the dark, past the dog beds and out to the back door. It's 4.30 in the morning and I'm still half asleep but after Tommy has done his business, I flick on the light to make sure he gets back to bed okay...and then I see all that he has been up to. Strewn over the floor. Not surprisingly, I am now wide awake.
The watch and the phone took a trip to the repair shop to be seen to. The people at the phone shop found my story to be particularly amusing (although I might have skipped out on some of the detail) and the sight of my phone, with its cracked screen and puncture wounds was definitely an interesting one. You see, if you are going to break a phone, you might as well do it properly - and I guess Tommy was thinking along the same lines!! The damage to the phone is irreparable but thankfully, I took the precaution of getting phone insurance when I first got the phone (fully expecting that it would be my own destructive tendencies, rather than anyone else's that would end up being the death of it). $300 later (grr...), the bright side is that I now have a sparkly new phone that is much better than the old one was anyway!! Maybe he is a technologically-minded hound after all...
So, just when I thought I was beginning to understand (and outsmart) the greyhounds with my clever tricks and training and hiding places, along comes Tommy to bring me back down to earth. The bag, and its contents, now live by my bed at night and uneaten lunch stays in the work fridge, out of hounds' way and there are now (fingers crossed) no distractions for Tommy on his midnight stroll. And where was Mila throughout all of this?? Sound asleep in her jarmies on her bed (or at least pretending to be). As if the thought of causing mischief had never occurred to her. Something tells me that she is not an entirely innocent party in all of this...but I guess I'll never know.