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.