The Day Bentley Ate the Glove
My dog has an oral fixation with everything. Not to lick, bite or chew but to swallow, whatever it may be hook, line and sinker.
Lisa Gates |
Posted: October 16, 2014, 1 p.m. PST
His name is Bentley, but I considered changing it to Hoover or Dyson. Bentley suffers from the canine version of Pica, an eating disorder of consuming everything lacking in "nutrients.” According to him, there is no suffering, only enjoyable digestion of odd things. Having witnessed soap disappear, socks, napkins, gloves and other items, nothing surprises or worries me since Bentley always throws it up or poops it out. A devoured sock had the privilege of being barfed up, eaten again and later pooped out. That sock had seen better days and wished it had been lost in the dryer like all good socks.
Months before we discovered our canine soap culprit, my husband couldn’t figure out how our five boys were using enormous amounts of Irish Spring soap, yet not appearing "fresh and clean as a whistle.” One afternoon, a loud boom came from the bathroom. I opened the door to a frenzied Bentley struggling to flee the crime scene of ingested soap. Particles of soap stuck to his whiskers as he scampered away.
Another danger is loose clothing. When house guests arrive, we ensure scarves, hats, gloves remain out of reach. My mother, the bag lady of loose clothing with hats, gloves, scarves and stuff hanging from her, never arrives quietly. Screams of "LET GO! DAMN IT LET GO!” can be heard as the kids announce grandma has arrived. Then there was the scarf incident. Hiking on a trail with six canines and Bentley, we approached a woman wearing a long scarf wrapped around her neck. Bentley leaped up snatching the scarf end. The poor woman held tightly to prevent choking. Panicked I threw cookies which hit her in the chest, but captured Bentley’s attention. He released the scarf devouring cookies. Thankfully she laughed, having a sense of humor. I was not as fortunate with the glove lady.
As a dog walker, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, other people on the trails, kids, dogs and in Bentley’s case loose clothing. Three British ladies walked towards me on a trail where I was walking seven dogs. Unsure if they were dog friendly, I leashed six charges while Bentley remained off leash. The women admired the dogs as Bentley zigzagged around them, wagging his tail as the ladies laughed adoringly at him. One lady held her glove loosely in her hand and before I could get the words out, Bentley seized it. The tiny lady shrieked "let go of my glove! Let go! Let go!” as she struggled to get it back. After a few seconds, she lost her grip. Bentley pranced around showing off the grand prize of a glove. He wiggled in front of us, trying to engage anyone into a game of chase. As I lunged towards him hoping to save the glove, the canine vacuum sucked it up. I shoved my hand down his throat but the glove already headed for the pits of his digestive organs. The three ladies shocked and dumb founded that this dog actually swallowed the glove which didn’t surprise me since my husband still can’t get over the dog eating soap. Sounding like the Queen of England, she announced the glove was a rare, priceless and precious glove. To me it looked like a normal glove but I was in no position to argue with her highness. Apparently the glove was from New Zealand and therefore irreplaceable. In a panic, I offered two hundred dollars, adding if he threw it up or pooped it out I would dry clean it. If I had cash on me, I would have thrown it at her to end the drama ensuing over a glove, but Bentley would have eaten that too leaving me poor and desolate amongst the British parliament. We exchanged numbers and I quickly left the crime scene.
That night, I found the glove online priced at $50.00. Thrilled about the news, I left the old lady a message. She contacted me the next day, sounding far from amicable, starting with "your offer of $200 to settle out of court sounds good to me.” Stunned by the word court as it wasn’t in our vocabulary discussion at the park, I told her the glove was worth only $50 and I offered $200 because she was playing an academy award winning performance of the most valuable glove in the world belonging to the Queen of England! Distraught by her tone, I informed her I would get back to her.
Four days later, Bentley threw up the glove. I wrapped up the glove in a box, added a check for $200 and shipped it express mail. Two weeks later, Bentley inhaled a gardener’s glove. I braced for "law suit in pact” but instead I received a hardy laugh and "it’s just a glove and I hope your dog is ok.” I apologized, explaining he would poop it out in a few days.
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