Tip: Don’t leave dogs in the kitchen
Dogs provide us with many funny moments, and often it can be when they are at their most mischievous . . . or perhaps that’s just my quirky sense of humour.
I remember a time, many years ago, when I had 5 standard poodles. Yes 5 – 2 adults and 3 pups! When Doug and I left the house we believed the safest place for them was the kitchen, but they were an inquisitive bunch, and being a pack, encouraged each other to do their worst. One of them would seek out food left on the surfaces, whether it was food remaining in a pan or dish, or simply an unwashed plate. By using a paw, it would crash to the floor and they would lick the remains.
Lesson 1: never leave dishes, plates and pans on the kitchen surface. The smell of food, even when it’s just a smattering, is irresistible.
For a while, this mischievous pack of dogs was well behaved . . . until one of them learned to open the fridge. It was a disaster. Whilst we were out, they consumed a 2kg margarine tub, a large block of cheese, and many other goodies. It must have been quiet a sight seeing the raid, and probably very funny. However, cleaning up the mess they had left was not something I would describe as even vaguely amusing. Not only was everything greasy, but, well, let’s just say lots of fat equates to very slippery intestines! And there were five of them! Not fun!
As punishment, Doug sat them in a row and marched up and down voicing his disapproval. They looked so scared and squeezed their terrified bodies closer together. It seemed work, and weeks passed before we encountered any more trouble. Maybe the large magnet on the fridge door helped a little too!
Lesson 2: Put a big magnet or lock on the fridge.
Had they finally learned to behave, or more accurately, had we learned what to do to avoid any situations? It seemed possible. We persisted with the magnet and never left food, even just scraps within their reach. We were always vigilant, checking and double-checking everything on our departure. Nothing could go wrong; we had it covered. Even so, returning home always caused a feeling of dread.
I put the key in the door. It was quiet. Something was wrong. They should be barking and pounding the door with their paws. I knew then they had misbehaved and my stomach sank.
I opened the door. I saw. I screamed.
They had knocked over the deep fat fryer! Oil was everywhere, across the floor, over the kitchen units, and on the dogs. It was a disaster. We both flipped!
Lesson 3: Don’t leave the deep fat fryer near the edge of the surface.
With hindsight, it was very funny. I can still see their oily sorrowful faces, and I can see them trying to get away, unable to get purchase on the slippery floor. They looked so scared, fearing the big man who forced them into a line and marched up and down.
‘He loves us really,’ one said. ‘Not today,’ came the reply.
Lesson 4: Make sure you have a sense of humour at all times.