Having pets is sometimes like having children. For me and my pets, it is like having children who are too smart for their own good.
Take my dog, Kramer. The little rat terrier could figure out a Rubix's Cube if it had food in it, probably in world record time.
He can be in a deep sleep and I can think about going to the refrigerator for food and he will be at my feet, ears perked up.
He does the same thing when I take him to visit my parents. I won't say a word or give any hints I am taking him or his sister to my parents but he will be at the door before I am ready to hit the road. That is because my dad feeds him popcorn, chips, cereal and whatever is for dinner. When Kramer comes home he looks like he's swallowed a watermelon.
But the dog is sneaky about getting his food and willing to take punishment for getting it unlawfully in the Jenkins abode.
For years I have fed them and then left the house to go to work. For years Kramer has finished his food and then finished the cat's food. So I decided it was time to put a stop to it.
I fed the dogs and cat like normal and as I left down the stairs to head to work from the corner of my eye I saw the little black and white bundle of cuteness head to the back bedroom where I keep the cat food. I had him.
I snuck back up the stairs and into the bedroom where I see the dog about to dive into a bowl of Meow Mix. I cleared my throat and Kramer froze and lowered his ears. Apparently Kramer thinks the lowering of the ears is an invisibility mechanism because he stood there frozen for seconds thinking I wasn't going to see him.
Finally I said "leave it alone," and he slid out of the room and downstairs. At last, I bested the little thing.
Proud of myself I head back to the stairs and as I began my descent I saw from the corner of my eye Kramer heading back into the back bedroom. Busted!
Again I sneak back and when I'm in the doorway I clear my throat. Kramer freezes again and lowers his ears to become invisible as a piece of Meow Mix fell from his mouth.
In a bit sterner voice I showed my displeasure with a "I told you to leave it alone!" I know, I am hard on the dog but sometimes it takes tough love.
I make my way back to the stairs but not as triumphant. I knew he would try it again so I walked down the stairs and opened and shut the door to give him the impression that I left. Then I snuck back up the stairs and peaked over the wall that separates the kitchen and the stairwell.
Sure enough I saw the dog walking slowly and quietly toward the back bedroom, like he was tiptoeing. Then he stopped and looked up in the air like he was contemplating his next move and tiptoed toward the kitchen.
I watched as he walked toward the stairwell, completely unaware I was watching him. Then he peaks around the wall where all I could see was the tip of his nose.
The dog jumped and then cocked his head and looked at me. It was a look of "What are you doing?"
I tried to tell him that cat food wasn't good for him and that I could stay and catch him all day long but I had to work in order to pay for his food. Then I left but as I was walking to my car I realized a few things.
Number one, I just lost a game of hide-and-seek to a dog that thinks he is invisible when he lowers his ears.
Number two, no matter how many times I tried to catch him getting the cat food he was going to win because I had to go to work. As a matter of fact he was probably eating the cat food before I even opened my car door.
Number three, I just tried to reason with a dog.
And number four and possibly the most disturbing is I was outsmarted by a dog. I wouldn't show my face in public but fortunately I will just lower my ears. Nobody can see me then.