Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Doodle and the mystery bones

I’ve never thought much the pool guy bringing Darby a treat every week when he arrives to perform the weekly maintenance on our cement pond. I’m guessing there are several houses on his route where he encounters dogs, so keeping treats in his pocket just makes sense. Darby adores Mr. Cantu with an unreserved abandon, going into complete “OMG OMG OMG!!!!! He’s Baaaacccccckkkkkk!! Hurry so we don’t miss him!!” meltdown when the truck pulls up on Fridays, flipping donuts on the carpet until his dad lets him out into the backyard to fawn all over his friend (and collect his weekly treat allowance). If there was ever a non-family member whom I’d consider to look after the Doodle, it would be Mr. Cantu. The two of them are quite besotted with each other, which is a pretty big deal for a dog who is easily stressed by strangers.

Lately, though, it appears that Mr. Cantu may have a rival for Darby’s affections. A couple of weeks ago I noticed the occasional Milk-Bone in the house. Knowing this is something we never purchase, I thought perhaps the neighbors (whom Darby has yet to love the way he loves Mr. Cantu) were trying to feed their way into his heart. I typically only notice the treats as I walk in the door at night and they tend to leave my train of thought as quickly as they leave my sight-line.

Eventually I got around to asking my husband about the mysterious Milk-Bones and their sudden, random appearance in our home.

“Where are these Milk-Bones coming from?”

“The mail carrier. She leaves them in the mailbox with our mail a couple of times a week.”  

“The mail carrier? Why is the mail-lady leaving dog treats in our mailbox?”

“I have no idea,” he replied. “Maybe she likes seeing Darby at the window. She can definitely hear him.”

See, I’d get it if we had one of the mailboxes that’s hanging right outside the door, where the mail carrier would come up close and personal-like to Darby every day, what with him stationing himself at the window every afternoon, just waiting for her truck to roll by so he can flip out (as is his wont to do). But you can literally park three cars end-to-end in our driveway before you get to where the mailbox is located. There’s no tactical advantage to leaving love treats for a pup who will never know you brought them.

Which leaves only one explanation: She likes him. Somehow the combination of floppiness, bark-howl and dedication to mail patrol makes Darby someone who appeals to her sensibilities, and in turn she’s appealed to the one thing that truly matters in his world: his stomach.

Newly aware that the Doodle has a new fan, we did the only thing that seemed right. We made some brownies and left a couple for her. In the mailbox, of course.


Tegan said...

That is so cute! It seems your dog has some fans.

Pamela said...

Awww, what a cute story.

Or your mail carrier is just an astute observer of canine behavior. I suspect Darby knows exactly who's leaving treats in the mailbox. For all we know, he can smell them from inside the house.

She's absolutely guaranteeing a happy greeting if Darby is ever outside when she comes by.

Vicky said...

Pamela, it would be a miracle for the carrier to miss the Doodle freaking out in the window every day when she comes to deliver the mail. I'm hoping she's just a fairly cool critter person because I can promise that his picky palate isn't being bought off with Milk-Bones :)

My spouse did take him outside to meet her and since he was on his leash, he was a perfect gentleman. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Lori @ According to Gus said...

I tried to comment earlier, but for some reasons one of our computers blocks the comment box...grrrr.

It's so cute that she's been leaving Darby biscuits. Will he eat them? It sounds like Gus and Darby are so similar when it comes to pickiness. I guess they know what they like and don't like!


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