A post-Hallowe’en spooky story, starring Grover

Two fake eyeballs lit upGrover has made many unexpected appearances in my blog of late. He enjoyed various adventures with us on our recent vacation, as much as any inanimate object can. But enough about my stuffies. I’m 53 now.

Once upon a time I was parent to a real live four-legged Grover. As a new dog owner, I ensured that together we attended obedience classes and aspired to great heights of compliance. Thus Grover was impeccably trained, although J. might beg to differ (but I’d beg to differ with her begging to differ.)

Despite his excellent training, Grover was not perfect. That’s primarily because I forget to phase out treats in favour of verbal praise when he complied with commands. Hence, he, and all my (and now our) subsequent dogs, have been highly food motivated. Still, he was my most skilled relentless scavenger. Before he lived with me, he was named “Hoover” because he consumed all his chew toys. Perhaps I should have taken note.

Whereas my other dogs nabbed anything they could without making any effort to hide their treasures–Shira the one-eyed wonder was especially fond of the chicken bones in our neighbour’s garbage–Grover was the sneakiest of scroungers. Except the one time Grover decided to carry an empty pop can along with him on our walk. He picked the discarded can up delicately and transported it all the way home, whereupon he dropped it on command so I could recycle it.

But such overt displays were the exception. Normally, Grover tried to hide what he’d scrounged, hoping I would not see it and take it from him. He’d sniff the ground intently while we walked, sometimes nabbing something surreptitiously and holding it in his mouth until he thought I was no longer looking. Once he believed his jackpot was long forgotten, he would start munching, hoping I would not notice.

Unfortunately for him, there was one telltale sign of his scrounging that would always give him away: he’d start drooling. Profusely. He’d leave a telltale trail of spittle behind him as we walked.

One day soon after Hallowe’en, as J. and I were walking Grover, he managed to sneak something from the gutter and hold it in his mouth for several blocks. Imagine the trail of drool that was left in our wake that day. After about 10 minutes of this nonsense, J. decided she wanted to know what he had picked up, so she stopped him and, like any good parent, stuck her hand down his throat. When she removed her hand, she was holding something round and rubbery. Turns out Grover had found one of those realistic-looking fake eyeballs that appear around this time of year.

What happened next? Did J. put the eyeball in her pocket and throw it out when we got home? Did one of us throw the eye at an unsuspecting passerby instead? Or did we return it to the gutter where Grover had found it? I’m drawing a blank.

Sometimes our memory fails us or we lack information and so we have to come up with the narrative ourselves. I trust you’re more than capable of that. I’d fabricate something but I’m not a fiction writer, remember?


4 thoughts on “A post-Hallowe’en spooky story, starring Grover

  1. My dog, Timbre, a rescued collie/retriever cross used to dig out canteloupe-sized rocks from the bed of the Bow River and proudly carry them across the pedestrian bridge to our back yard, where he would unceremoniously drop them. I could never figure out what his motivation was, as he never looked at them again. His whole collection would have to be moved every time I wanted to mow the lawn. Weird.


    • Dear Christine: Thank you for weighing in with your story. I certainly don’t mean to be disrespectful since I did not know Timbre but his motivation seems obvious to me: he must have been a landscape architect. We never know our rescue dogs’ backgrounds, do we? Timbre must have attended college. It’s too bad you couldn’t appreciate his artistry. 🙂 Annie


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