The Chase

I’m in the bathroom doing my business when I hear it. It’s the scratch of claws scraping down the walls, and various items which linger on our shelf by our doorway, getting torpedoed off the ledge. I hear the clink of the collar and leash as it crashes to the floor, then….the pitter-patter of four paws running off. I sigh. Then I laugh.

He’s adorable and he gets away with more than any other four-legged critter that I know. He’s cute - and he knows it.

I’m finished with my daily business and I exit the bathroom. He’s nowhere to be seen - at least, not right now. As I turn the corner, I look down the hallway leading into our family room and I see him.

Tail is wagging, shimmer of mischief in his eye; in his mouth he holds the coveted prize - my red HBC Olympic mitt.

I stammer at him, “Hershey, those were the mittens I was going to wear to walk you. Drop it!”

His bum is in the air, face is planted to the ceramic tile, as he holds my mitt tightly in his teeth, eyeing me suspiciously.

I continue with, “If you don’t give it to me - I can’t walk you!”

I’m convinced he’s human and yes, I know I talk to him like he’s a child. I’m convinced I can reason with him. Sometimes it works - but not this time.

I launch at him with the precision of a guided missile, or so I think. I miss. Hershey spins around, runs down the hallway, head held high with satisfaction, flapping my mitt in the air. He’s demonstrating to the current parties, as well as to any possible onlookers, as to who is in charge here.

I’m laughing now and the chase is on. I corner on my heel as I enter our family room. Hershey is facing me with the mitt, in his eyes I read, “Ok Mom. Try to get it.”

He’s standing in front of me - I swing my arms forward like our prehistoric, clumsy, ancestors in an attempt to snatch the mitt. Thwarted again!

I don’t understand. This brown, four-legged, affectionate, slobbering, best-buddy - is the most slippery sucker. You reach for him, come within inches of grabbing whatever was stolen and - he’s gone. Even more humiliating - he moves very slowly as if he’s teasing you. Just like a fly, when the mercury soars over a hundred degrees, you swat at the fly mercilessly and it slows down to sloth-mode. You are so close with each failed attempt and you still miss, as it annoyingly buzzes around your head. You’re certain the fly is laughing at you. Except – I know Hershey is laughing. SUCKER !!! - Is his only thought.

Once on New Year’s Eve, our friend Scott held in his hand a cracker with cheese, waving it around for effect, discussing a story. Hershey’s thought - CHALLENGE. Nonetheless, Mr. Hershey leaped ever so gently forward and scooped the cheese off the cracker, leaving the cracker, sans cheese. Thank goodness our friend has a dog and was amused. What happened to the cracker? Scott finished it. No, certainly not. Hershey won the cracker as well. The prospect of the cheese, replaced with drool, made the cracker less appetizing. Hershey is Superpuppy, I swear.

The traits of Superpuppy include:

  1. Act as a bowling ball knocking people off their feet, while charging at them going one hundred miles per hour. I exaggerate. Two hundred miles per hour. He’s the fastest bowling ball in the world.
  2. For those who have a dog, you might be familiar with what we affectionately call, Demon Puppy. It’s the moment when your dog loses their mind. They will run wildly around the house, bouncing off walls, ears tucked tightly behind their head, tail pulled tightly behind their bum, possessed smile on their face. Whilst in this mode on our front lawn, Hershey will spin around violently in circles, removing every piece of grass rooted in our lawn. The neighbours secretly wonder if we have a horse.
  3. Hershey will never steal food off the counter. (Even I have my limits.) However, he has scooped a bull winkle from the pocket of my pants, steals hats off of anyone’s head (no one is immune), and will steal a bone from the basement if the door is left open. He is a thief - or perhaps he is the flash. Or maybe he’s a flash thief. (Also, see current situation.)
  4. Hershey is eighty pounds, stands about two feet, but has the ability to curl up into a ball reducing himself to the size of a kitten.
  5. He can do the Superman pose. All four legs are stretched out and he literally looks like if he were in the air, he would be flying. Just like Superman, Superpuppy has his own kryptonite. I ask, “Hershey do you want a cooookie?”

In an instant, he releases his prize. I scoop the mitt before handing him the cookie. Yes, he’s played me before when I gave him the cookie first. He used the opportunity to grab the mitt and run away. Yes, I know my dog is smarter than me. It was “THE CHASE – PART TWO.” I hate sequels.

This is how my winter mornings begin. Shovelling snow, getting bundled up, walking my dog in frigid weather and scraping the car off. The joys of winter! Add to all that, the extra challenge of chasing Hershey around to recover various, stolen, winter gear, and - I LOVE IT!

Hershey is mischievous and I have to say he is exhausting at times, but he reminds me that the world is your playground. What matters most is what you do with it.

With the recovery of my mitt, I have won this battle. I put my hat on, zip my jacket up, check for snacks (yes, I need to bribe my dog to make him behave) and bags to collect any Hershey “packages”. Check, check, check, check... Just about ready. Finally, I bend forward to pull my boots on in the direction of Hershey…..

Gone is my hat. The Chase - Part Two has commenced.