Mungo has been nicknamed "the dog that
eats food" by one of our granddaughters because he eats food - any
food - his, yours, hers (especially hers), mine, morsels around the yard,
garbage on the street. When he was 0 and 1, he was incorrigible. At 2
he began showing his age and possible impending judgment, but he still
made the occasional dart for an unguarded sandwich. We had great hopes
that when he turned 3 he would become grown-up and dignified. This hope
has become somewhat true.
Chapter 2: Mungo has a religious
experience: Easter 2005
Easter morning, on his early morning walk, the little dog, "the dog
that eats food", as my granddaughter Mollie calls him, did indeed
eat some garbage. He is very fast, nonchalantly sniffing for news of the
day one minute, executing a lightening fast dart for the rotting morsel
lying forgotten by the curb the next. He swallows whole, so we had no
idea what it was that graced his stomach this Easter morning.
Later, after the Easter services promised new life and unconditional love
to all, 19 people and four extra dogs started arriving for Easter Dinner,
toting in rolls and carrots and dip and assorted wet stuff. And deserts.
I lost track of what came and where it went, but a safe stashing place
is our pantry, which is guarded by a swinging door to which we have installed
a hook and eye latch above child and dog reach. We were safe - locks and
many eyes and a multitude of distractions kept all courses of our meal
In the middle of this pleasant confusion, someone called out: "Why
is the dog locked in the pantry?" She was referring to Little Dog,
a now full grown golden retriever, whose proper name is Mungo. She then
closed and relocked the pantry door. I assumed she had extracted Mungo,
but a few minutes later, when I didn't see him milling around looking
for his opening, I peeked into the pantry, and there he was, standing
on his hind feet, fully extended and upright, grossly enjoying a tray
full of lemon tarts. By the time we recovered our senses and removed the
offender (dog, not the persons who had locked and relocked him in with
one of the most treasured Easter desserts) he had easily eaten over a
dozen tarts and nibbled on several more. He left us about six.
So, this is one piece of plate poaching the we could not blame on "the
dog who eats food,” because a dog that finds himself locked in a
small space with lemon tarts in mouth-reach has no other choice: he must
eat before all is discovered.
Later, the so-called good dog, Mungo's elderly uncle, who only steals
food when it is absolutely necessary in order to maintain his honor, surgically
removed a piece of lamb from the youngest guest's plate when she was off
in pursuit of something with more sugar.
Well, the wages of thievery are dyspepsia, but on the day after Easter
that does not seem to deter the Little Dog from continual pursuit of fallen
(or not) morsels to soothe his cravings; having rediscovered there is
more to life than kibble and street garbage, he too is living in that
Easter hope that brings love and new life in unexpected places.
Nancy Lowry; Easter Monday, 2005