Back from Maine. And even though it was drizzly and foggy, Mom had a happy, multi-generational birthday, as family members from age 3 to 74 expressed our gratitude that she was born. It was, as the sign on the state line promises, The Way Life Should Be.
Which is good, because right now in Massachusetts, our dog (or That Dog as I'm now calling her) has staged an unprecedented coo, making a bid for her version of the way life should be, and it doesn't exactly sync up with ours.
By way of background, Kylie has always been an amazingly unaggressive little creature. She conquers through love, not destruction, and spends the bulk of her waking hours rearranging the covers on our bed to obtain the optimal lounging position. While friends warned me that getting a puppy was the equivalent of tossing my favorite shoes in a blender, Kylie never so much as sniffed at them. She never chewed furniture or rugs or children's toys. She did recently make a bold move on an unattended ham, but let's be fair - the ham was there to be eaten. After ten years together, I can honestly say that Kylie is the least destructive dog I've ever known.
Like all creatures, however, Kylie has her weakness. Superman had kryptonite. Kylie has Kleenex. It's irresistible to her, and it draws her out of her normally obedient nature, making her into a frenzied, get-out-of-my-way-before-somebody-gets-hurt fiend, slashing and tearing as if to defend us all from some unknown threat hiding amidst the crumpled tissues in the bathroom wastebasket.
This behavior has gone on for the past ten years. Certainly, I could have disciplined her, coating the basket with bitter apple, spraying her with a hidden squirt gun when I caught her nose in the basket. But it seemed easier to just close the bathroom door and be grateful it wasn't the contents of my closet she demolished whenever she got the chance.
Well this week, Steve bought one of those metal trash cans with a lid that opens when you step on a petal. I was ugly, and it made an awful CLANG! each time the lid opened and slammed into the sink or the wall, but it seemed like it would foil Kylie's tissue habit once and for all, particularly if she inadvertently stepped on the pedal and conked herself on the chin.
As it turns out, however, That Dog was undaunted by the new metal lid. She must have read all those "Power of Positive Thinking" books I used to have, because she took this lemon and made herself some lemonade. Freed from the burden of protecting us from the forces in the wastebasket, Kylie turned her attention to the rolls of extra toilet paper under the sink. That afternoon I found her jowl-deep in the remains of approximately 375 double-ply yards of Quilted Northern.
Trish, Steve, and their new fancy wastebasket: 0
Some of the rolls were only slightly damaged - just a little chunk out of the middle, but otherwise perfectly functional. Which leaves me with the question: Would you find it odd if you were in somebody's bathroom and the toilet paper had a (small) bite out of it???
(Kidding. I'm kidding!)