03:26:55 pm on
Sunday 20 Aug 2017

Determination
AJ Robinson

Our dog, Gandalf, is quite the homebody. He doesn’t much care for going outside, unless he absolutely positively must do it. He isn’t interested in going on long walks, he doesn’t want to go to the dog run and pretty much the only time he goes out is to tend to his “business.” If it’s raining or so much as drizzling a little, he runs and hides inside.


Gandalf loves his toys.

Yet, there is one thing Gandalf does love: his toys! Oh, when he gets a new plaything, he just goes bonkers, especially when the toy comes with a squeaker. He loves to hear it make noise.

One of his favourites is a pig, which he can barely get into his mouth. Just recently, we got him quite the unique plaything. It sort of looks like a cross between an elephant and a snake, and, yes, it has a nice squeaker.

We brought it home, gave it to him. He went loco over it. There is another thing Gandalf does when he gets a new toy. The new toy instantly becomes his favourite for a couple of weeks.

Yet, he always goes back to the pig. After the new plaything joins the ranks of his general toys and he plays with them depending on his mood. We also always know when he truly loves a toy.


He tries to bury every new toy.

Now, here’s the thing, consider this question and see if you can come up with an answer. How do you put something in the ground when you don’t like to go outside? Answer: it ain’t easy!

We have hardwood floors in our apartment and a few rugs; there is no wall-to-wall carpeting in our place. Gandalf finds a nice spot in the floor, sniffs around a bit and starts “digging.” He paws at the floor, repeatedly, desperately trying to dig into the flooring, trying frantically to create a hole. Yet, for some strange reason that escapes his ability to comprehend, he’s unable to dig a hole.

He’s unable to dig a hole. He can’t so much as scratch the floor. However, he remains undeterred. He just keeps at it, pawing and digging at the floor, furiously trying to get through the wood.


He never succeeds but he sure tries, hard.

We sat there, I on the couch, my wife, Jo Ann, in her recliner and watched television. The minutes ticked off. Gandalf didn’t let up for one second. I checked the clock; he’d been at it for almost five minutes. Finally, he paused and looked at us, panting so hard we thought he was going to pass out.

We asked how it was going and if he were done. He wasn’t. He shifted position, started at it again and dug, dug-dug! Moving about the room, right at the edge of the rug, he tried his paws at several other locations.

Do I have to tell you the end? We found it most amusing and it really was great exercise for him. He ended up sleeping like the proverbial log for the rest of the night. Ah well, at least it gave him a good workout, even if he never dug a single hole.

 

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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