Monday, October 29, 2007

Countersurfing and Other Clumber Pastimes...

Well, in Kim's recent comment, she asks whether "Mr. Woo" is leaving the cords alone. The short answer is...yes. We have not lost any cords to Wooster in the 4.5 years he's lived with us. This is a good thing. That being said, however, although Wooster did not introduce us to that Clumber spaniel phenomenon called "countersurfing," he does elevate the sport to new heights!

I distinctly recall Jenni telling us, upon transferring Wooster to our care, that countersurfing was "not his first love." Perhaps not, in a land (such as I imagine Jenni's kitchen) with clean and empty counters. However, in the land of Jennifer & Michael, not so much. In this land, Wooster takes every opportunity to explore the great expanse of my countertops. I do notice a decided drop in such visitations during phases where the countertops are emptier (thus less tempting), presumably since there are fewer rewards awaiting during those times.

Since Wooster's arrival, we have lost innumerable sticks of butter and loaves of bread along with various utensils (one of which we later pieced together CSI-style to make sure no pieces were inside the dog).

Then there were Wooster's other food-related exploits. Like the time I hid a bag of ground coffee in my briefcase, since it would have given away the imminent arrival of guests for an upcoming surprise birthday party for Michael (we don't drink coffee). We arrived home from the party to find most of the coffee spread over the dining room floor and Wooster high as a kite. Fortunately, we determined he had not ingested enough of it to harm himself. I'm also fond of recounting (in retrospect-- though quite terrified at the time) the time Wooster opened the lazy susan cabinet to find the large canisters of flour that I had stored there. Who knew that flour mixed with Clumber drool makes quite a sticky dough that can coat any surface, including Clumber whiskers and laminate flooring? Well, we do now. Needless to say, the flour now lives above the counters, out of reach of Clumber paws (even though Woo likes to extend his paw and then hop, thus extending his reach all the way to the back of the counter-- he's both determined and industrious!).

Wooster at least mostly-- though not entirely-- confines his tastes to food and food-related articles. (Underwear fetish? Yes, this is the dog that has to buy me new underwear every year for Christmas. If only he could actually pay for them himself, we'd be all set.) Unfortunately, Watson is not so choosy. (More on this some other time.) And why does he (Watson, that is) never seem to chew these objects before swallowing?

(Anyone with the answer to that question should feel free to comment...I could sure use the insight.)

Wooster's surfing activities have been severely curtailed since the arrival of Watson, since both dogs are now crated during the day. No doubt he's sad about this, but it is a relief to us. My new mantra is: A supervised Clumber is a healthy Clumber! Nonetheless, as Kim's comment shows, Wooster's exploits continue to be the stuff of legend among those who know him.

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