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Sammy’s soup


D. J. Sweetenham

Guest Columnist

  It is now the middle of the last full week of October and, according to the weather forecast, there are only a couple of days left of this incredibly fine Fall weather before the cold sets in. That means we definitely have to go for a short cruise this afternoon so that the Kids can eat their dog food on the boat. That really is the only place they will eat enough Kibbles to constitute a full meal. In the house they pick and choose a few pieces but they really want some of what I'm having and I always have to leave them just a taste.

  One evening last week, when the wind was blowing a little too strong for a comfortable boat ride, Millie and I decided to have bowls of soup for dinner. One of our favorites is Vegetarian Vegetable from Ingles. In addition to vegetables, it contains the capital letters of the alphabet, in pasta. Now, I realize that many readers of this column will disbelieve what I am about to tell you but please, try to keep an open mind. I'm not making this up. It would take quite an imagination to do that and that's something I don't have. Anyway, back to the story......................................

  Sammy, as usual, was sitting at my feet, under the dining table as I was eating my soup. I could feel his eyes on me and it was clear that he was reminding  me to save him some. I said to him, “It's O.K. I won't forget you. But I don't think you're going to like this. There's no meat in it, just vegetables. If you don't like it, just say so.”  I put the soup bowl down on the floor close to him and watched as he sniffed at it suspiciously. “Well,” I asked, “Don't you want it?” He turned his head away from the bowl slowly and stared straight at me. I could feel the rejection in his eyes. Floating together in the center of the bowl were the pasta letters NO. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. I said to Millie, “I know Sammy is incredibly smart, but this is unreal “ as I pointed out the soup bowl on the floor. She laughed and replied, “You don't really believe that he moved those letters to make the word 'NO' do you? It's just a coincidence.”  Well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn't............what do you think?

  I still believe that all dogs are much more knowledgeable  than we give them credit for. I know Sammy understands everything I say to him. He just chooses to respond to those suggestions and ideas which interest him and he ignores anything else. I've never given either of my Best Buddies any obedience training as I never intended for them to be “working dogs”, like my Police patrol dogs, back in my R.A.F. Service days. These two have been allowed to develop their own personalities, unencumbered with any rules or restrictions except for not being allowed to roam freely outside the confines of our property. When we are outside the fence, even as far as getting into the car,  their car, by the way, they are on leads. This is for their safety. Inside the car the leads come off.

  Dee is a totally different character. She loves everyone and gives big, sloppy, wet kisses to anyone who will allow it. She also chooses not to hear any of my suggestions which don't interest her but, in her case, not much of what I might suggest, does. In some respects, she is very much like my wife. I call it “Selective hearing”..........there I've done it now! Ah well, I'm accustomed to sleeping in my recliner. With Sammy curled up alongside my legs it's really quite comfortable.


  D.J. Sweetenham, originally from England, is the author of Bumps in the Road and Bumps in the Road - Part Two, highlights of his interesting and far-flung life. D.J., his wife, and two small dogs, live in Stockbridge.




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