Mary Morony, Author of the Apron Strings Trilogy

One Smart Cookie

A normal nighttime routine in our house is Hubs and one of the dogs watch television together on the sofa. Which dog is based not on a pecking order but on the time-honored tradition of firsts; until recently jockeying for the prime entertainment position begins in earnest after dinner. Sophie loves to cuddle with Hubs, so she made it a practice to claim the spot early. Hagar, a creature tied to his comforts, decided along the way that losing the coveted berth left him with a decidedly bum deal. Curling up on the drafty floor, plushy dog bed, notwithstanding, did not suit his delicate sensibilities.

Boy dog’s hunkering-in started to commence before dinner. A chance snack was not worth a frigid night of TV, it seemed, since he started to forgo joining us at the table. Little sis, meanwhile sat front and center in case a scrap might hit the floor unaware that her brother had outwitted her. His earlier-than-usual claim on the sofa forced Miss Dog to lie on her bed next to the stove. No chilly bed near the TV for this girl, but also no beloved cuddle with Hubs either.

At first, we dismissed the notion that Sophie was up to some nefarious something. It wasn’t until her actions began to form a distinct pattern, did it become impossible to deny. We watched her go to the door and ask to go out nightly. When the door opened, she raced outside barking like a herd of deer had the audacity to lounge on the front steps. This would incite her brother to leap off the sofa and bolt out with a cartoon-like which-way-did-they-go wobble of his head. Girly girl, already turned toward the door, hightailed it to the coveted seat. Some variation on this theme happened so many times, it was impossible not to conclude there was a whole lot of manipulating going on. After a while, Biggus-boy became wise to the ruse.

Since her subterfuge had stopped producing the desired outcome, sly girl dog hatched a new plot. Per usual, she approached the door and asked to go out. I got up to oblige her. Once the door was opened, rather than go outside, she abruptly reversed direction and beat me back to my chair.

I guess, if her brother can write a blog, it stands to reason his sister might be a pretty smart cookie too.


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