Every snack you make, every meal you bake, every bite you take… I’ll be watching you.

~Author Unknown

It was the end of a typical busy workday, and I was preparing for the next day by showering and blow-drying my hair. My husband Thad was finding comfort in his favorite snack: a prune Danish with a glass of milk. He settled himself in bed to watch an evening show on TV and enjoy his well-deserved dessert. But our German Shepherd/Collie mix, Roxie, saw this as an invitation to play ball.

Nuzzling him with the ball in her mouth, Thad realized that ignoring her was futile. So, he got out of bed, set the pastry and milk on his bedside table, and began throwing the ball down our long hallway. Roxie would retrieve it and bound into our bedroom, only to find that Thad had disappeared. As she came farther into the room, Thad would rise from his crouched position at the foot of the bed and roar like a bear ready to attack! He would wrestle the ball from Roxie’s mouth and throw it back down the hall again.

I watched this game in the reflection of the mirror for a good five minutes as I continued to blow-dry my hair. Each time, Thad would hide at the foot of the bed, and Roxie would retrieve the ball and come looking for him.

On a final throw, Roxie once again went bounding down the hall to retrieve the ball, and Thad assumed his crouched position again at the foot of the bed. Except this time, when Roxie came in, she didn’t go to find Thad. Instead, she put her two paws on top of the nightstand and made a mad grab for Thad’s pastry.

Thad heard her toenails clicking on the floor and rose up just in time to see that she had the pastry in her mouth. He roared like an angry bear that had just lost his honeypot. Roxie looked up, her eyes wide with fear as she and the Danish tore down the hallway. She lost traction on the tile floor and skidded as my half-angry, half-laughing husband chased her.

At this point, I was laughing so hard I had to sit down. While Thad was none too happy (it was the last pastry), he admitted readily that leaving the snack unattended on his nightstand was way too much temptation for a dog like Roxie who had spent the first two years of her life as a junkyard dog.

Thad joined me in laughter and said, “You can take the dog out of the junkyard, but you can’t take the junkyard out of the dog.”

Published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Hilarious, Heroic, Human Dog, August 2021