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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Bone to Pick

In my last post, we learned about Bones.

But one reader had a bone to pick with me about how well I covered the topic. My awesome sister-in-law (and fellow dog lover) Randi pointed out that I missed a Critical Part of the Art of Bone Appreciation. She asks, "Do none of your canines hide their bones?"

Randi reports that her dog Hannibal, a handsome German Shepherd (who has offered, I believe, to rid my home of its current "cat infestation") loved to bury his bones in the backyard of her first house. She says it was Very Important task that Hannibal took upon himself to accomplish.

Hannibal, relaxing in his chair, takes a break from chasing rabbits and roadrunners (he lives in New Mexico)--and digging holes.

Funny, I never thought about it, but none of my current pups are buriers. Diggers, yes. All three can put in a healthy dig. (Yes, my garden has suffered.) But it hasn't occurred to any of them to put anything in the holes they create.

Randi also mentioned a poodle she had as a pet when growing up. This dog "would wander the house whining because she could not dig a hole in the carpet to hide her bone. Eventually, she would hide her bone inside someone's shoe."  

And suddenly a wash of memory came over me.

Kelsey and her Circle Bone.

She was the first dog that belonged to me. We had Twinkle in our home when I was growing up, but Kelsey came to live with me when I was on my own, recently married (to my first husband) and living in my first house. 

Kelsey had a Circle Bone. Imagine rawhide in the shape of a donut or a bagel.  This was her Very Special Bone--so special that she never once chewed on it. Every other bone and rawhide would be a fun treat, but the Circle Bone was meant to be carried or buried. 

The Circle Bone was like a security blanket for Kelsey.  Whenever she was nervous or upset, or when there were way too many people in the house, she would retrieve the bone from its most recent hiding spot and wander the house looking for a new place to put it. 

She'd try under the couch. Crouching down, she'd stick her head underneath and very gently place the Circle Bone on the carpet. She'd back out, stop, and reconsider. No, that wasn't quite right. She'd look around. Wait! Someone was watching her and might have seen her put it there. That wouldn't do at all. She'd take it back out.

Maybe on the couch, under a pillow. She'd put her Bone by a throw pillow and nose it underneath. And then push imaginary dirt on top of it. But she could still see it. Kelsey would sigh, pick it back up and look for another place.

You have to imagine the sight; a small, collie-like dog wandering the house with a soulful and concerned look on her face, sometimes sighing, sometimes whining like Randi's poodle. And hanging from her lower jaw--actually encircling it--was a rawhide bagel/bone.

Kelsey would often try out four or five different places for her Circle Bone before she found the Best Spot. She would never leave it if she thought someone had seen her hide it. And sometimes, as she left it and walked away, Kelsey would turn back and look at it, just to Make Sure. It had to be Safe.

Yup, Bones can be quite special. Just ask Hannibal. Or Kelsey.

Kelsey hanging out. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the very special Circle Bone.


  1. Rosie also used to hide her bones in couch cushions when she got a real special one. The trouble was that Pasha had a really good nose and would usually find them. Rosie would use bones to scratch her back too. She'd chew a Nylabone and then roll around on it.

  2. Corinne, you are SO right. I forgot about that. Rosie used to hide Bones under pillows. But Pasha seemed to sniff them out so very often. She would look perturbed. And Bones as backscratchers? Absolutely! Tucker likes to do that, too.