Kyndall and I share the same fantasy. In it, the doors from our house that lead to the backyard are always open. Whenever she tires of lying quietly near one of us, Kyndall wanders outside and strolls around the property. She smells everything, and all of it is fascinating. She might drink a little water from her bowl or take a moment to relieve herself or simply flop down in the sunlight, to feel the breeze ruffling her whiskers. Or she might find a sturdy stick and chew it.
In my version of the fantasy, she never, ever swallows any of the objects she chews. The reality, however, differs. A few minutes ago, while I was watering a few plants, I found her chomping away on — and swallowing — chunks of painted particle board that she picked up somewhere. I scraped all the bits I could out of her mouth, and then I followed her around for a while. Mostly, she did the things in my fantasy. But she also lingered in a spot far in the back of the yard where she has come to believe something important is submerged. She started digging until I interrupted that.
Now we’re back up in my office, where she again looks bored.
I’m sorry she can’t live out our fantasy. But in the first place, service-dog trainees are supposed to get used to a life of patient repose next to their masters. She is, after all, in training.
Also, the report from the vet’s office the other day declared no evidence of intestinal parasites or other bacterial trouble-makers. Steve and I continued feeding Kyndall the rice and cottage-cheese for a bit and then tapered off. We’re delighted that her digestive system once again is functioning normally. But if she starts eating particle board and whatever’s the bottom of that hole she was working on, we’ll all be back to the Diarrhea Diet. That would be really tedious.