Don’t get between a dog and a digging site!

January 10, 2021

One thing I have learned about dogs is that they love to dig a good, deep, wide hole. If they see a hole in the ground, even if it is a small dent, they will dig to the center of the earth. There has to be something under there. Whether it is Elvis, Jimmy Hoffa or a piece of a miniscule atom off of a pair of men’s underwear, it doesn’t matter. It’s the digging that counts.

Recently, I was babysitting the granddogs, a black lab the size of my SUV and a very, very deceptive golden retriever. At the same time, a new patio was being landscaped and installed in the back yard. In the morning, an army of workers arrived with Bobcats, tractors, shovels and backhoes. The trifecta was complete for the canines.

The dogs were excited, dragging their union-issued leashes to the back door, wearing their union-issued hard hats and tucking their union-issued membership cards behind their ears. They needed to get out there.

I couldn’t understand what the rush was, but I was launched aside as soon as I opened the door. The golden jumped into the pit, which was now the mother lode of dirt holes; all manner of things splayed out over the area. She was like some miner drilling for gold. This girl would have been a superstar at a Black Friday sales event. 

Oh, the black lab was involved, but he tired easily and mostly hung around the porta-potty, assuming it was some kind of moveable restaurant or cafe, since the workers were in and out of it all morning.

The work went on and on and then – lunch! 

As the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” cackled, “Not so fast, my pretty.” Let me see those paws! Just as I suspected, dirt- and cement-caked, sure signs from my past experience of bringing up adventurous children who came home at dinnertime, filthy from playing in a junkyard full of tires.

Downstairs! This is where I set up a paw wash. The mutts exchanged glances, shrugged and followed me. So overwhelming is the desire to dig that if their brain was a cabbage, only an eighth of a millimeter of one lobe would be available for other functions, like chewing on the furniture and shredding stuffed animals.

Dogs will hang out on street corners like crazed drug addicts just to get a line on where a new hole is being dug.

Anyway, while I was searching for dog construction boots on Amazon, a lot of barking commenced as they clamored to get outside, since the men had returned to work for the afternoon. I yelled down to stop it, but the barking continued.

Neither dog paid attention to my admonishments. The canines decided they had had enough, so they went to the downstairs computer and googled the phrase, “Stop it.”

While the lab acted as a lookout, the golden logged in and found the right page. Eventually, she scrolled down until the phrase popped up. It was under the heading for dogs.  Sure enough, there it explained that it was a phrase used by humans, but basically should be ignored since its meaning was argumentative, salacious, egregious, meaningless, twisted, deceptive, biased, and dare we say, dangerous. Just what the dogs suspected, they agreed and Wikipedia concurred. There was also an asterisk with a warning to approach the human with caution.  

Eventually I let them out, but I could swear they had smirks on their faces. Well, just wait until those boots arrive tomorrow, I thought as I wiped a strange film of dirt off the computer. Lessons learned.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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