When Emma, our English field cocker spaniel, first went pheasant hunting, she just did what she was bred to do. She sniffed and snarfed until she found a pheasant scent, and she did it very well.
Later in the trailer, she found a stray pheasant feather, and another instinct of hers kicked in – that of eating whatever looked good.
She’s not too proud to get her picture taken with a feather stuck to her mouth and one ear flopped back. She’s confident we will love her anyway. Quite a humble innocent.
With most babies, every new item must be sniffed and if possible, eaten. Emma was no exception. She tried to eat the cord of the trailer’s electric heater when it was plugged in (luckily we caught her before she fried herself), she ate one of my brand new Birkenstocks,
and took her time working on a pair of slippers. (She doesn’t chew them now that she is all grown up, but she nibbles and nibbles over a long time, until there’s a substantial accumulation of damage.)
“Who? Me?”” she asks?
She’s not a puppy anymore and she doesn’t chew everything in sight, but she is still very focused on putting things in her mouth.
A friend of ours came over to help us out when our lawnmower broke down. He always brings dog biscuits as a treat for Emma, and this time was no exception. Emma got her dog cookie and followed the friend around the rest of the time he was here (as she always does).
Fast forward to the next morning when I took Emma out. Something reddish-orange caught my eye after she did her business. Was it the piece of carrot I had given her? Surely she would have chewed it more. Was it blood? OMG! I hope she’s okay.
I got a stick and poked around in the little chocolate wedding cake she had dropped, and brought the reddish-orange thing into the house. I washed it off, and couldn’t believe my eyes.
It wasn’t a dog biscuit, but it was something our friend had brought with him (and apparently lost in the grass as he was trimming the edges). It’s about an inch long and is made of a rubbery foamy material. Yep! You guessed it. It was an earplug.
But what a funny one it was. See the one hair on its head? Then go about a third of the way down on the right-hand side. Do you see the happy face? (I didn’t put that on it.) I think this earplug was happy to see the light of day again after his journey through the bowels of a spaniel innocently looking for another dog biscuit.
I think in this case, the innocent pursuit of dog biscuits backfired on Emma.