Owning a service dog does not mean that life is without amusement; thanks to all of his training and good manners, Rally won’t jump up to greet you or beg at the table, but that doesn’t mean that he is impeccable; he has a profound weakness for trash cans, particularly the kind with the lids that flip up with a press of the foot peddle.
In my room one evening, listening to music and finishing homework, I was startled by a loud noise emitting from the living room.
I went back to my work. It was probably nothing.
I glanced around my room. Rally wasn’t at his usual spot besides my bed. Now I was curious.
I put down my laptop and climbed to my feet, tiptoeing stealthily across the hallway into the living room. A brief glance confirmed that nothing was amiss in this room.
I peered over the breakfast bar into the kitchen, and beheld my dog, chest deep in the trashcan. He had figured out how to open the lid with a back paw on the peddle, and had his entire head and neck was buried down inside of the cylinder. It was requiring some pretty intense balancing skills, and every time he tried to edge himself deeper into the forbidden pleasure of the garbage, his hips would sway and hit the wall.
My first reaction was to loudly scold Rally; after all, there were chicken bones and tin cans and who knows what other sorts of dangers lurking inside of the trash. After a moment of contemplation, however, I realized that a perfect opportunity had presented itself.
I snuck up behind Rally, whose normally keen hearing failed him; so intent was he on his mission. I waited until I was a foot away, leaned over him, and said casually,
“Anything good in there old boy?”
He jumped so badly that both hind paws left the ground. In his haste to withdraw his head, he got stuck in the removable lid, so when he finally managed to back away from the garbage can, the cover remained about his neck like a collar of shame.
“Gotcha.” I grinned as he immediately dropped to the ground and rolled onto his back in a gesture of admission of guilt.
That wasn’t the first nor the last time I’ve caught Rally sneaking into the trash, his one reoccurring misbehavior, but now he’s getting harder to sneak up on; he only ducks down into the trashcan for an instant before spinning on his rear legs and looking superstitiously around behind him, ever on the alert. But don’t worry; I’ll think of something!