Louvre or Eat Her

Mike tells me that dog meat tastes just like lamb. Not that he’s tried it. He has, however, heard this from people who know. I’ll tell you, I’m about a hair’s-breadth from finding out myself. If there’s a three-strikes law for canines, our dog has just violated it. For about the fiftieth time.

We came home from art class this morning to find a strange water bowl in our driveway.

“Why is that there?” MJ asked. I told her I had no idea.

Picking up the bowl, I stared at it stupidly. Suddenly I was interrupted by Mina, who bounded up to us, wagging her tail joyfully.

“Mina!” cried MJ. “What are you doing outside?”

Good question. Excellent, in fact. Mina was not supposed to be out. We don’t leave her in the back yard. Ever. She can, and does, escape and go roaming the neighborhood, searching for skunks. Skunks she finds, with disastrous results, every time.

I immediately called Mike at work. “Did you leave the dog out this morning?”

“What? No,” he said. “Why would I do that?”

I sighed. This didn’t bode well. “I’ll call you back.”

I grabbed daughter, dog, and water bowl and shepherded them all to the back door. As I opened it Myra-Jean said “Did Mina break the window again?”

“Probably.” I slammed the door behind us and headed for the living room.

What a surprise: Mina had broken the window again. The same one — the louvred jalousie — that she’s broken twice in the last month or so. One pane lay in fragments on the floor. Looking outside I saw a second one smashed on the concrete below. The screen — which had clearly been pushed out — had been propped back into place with a broom and a chair. Our neighbor must have seen the damage and done this to keep the flies out until we got home. Then they left Mina the water bowl. And walked away, presumably thinking “thank all the stars in Heaven that’s not my dog.”

I called Mike back. “She did it again.”

“What? The window?”


He cursed, not quite under his breath. “Why?”

“Honestly? I have no idea.”

There was a silence. Then he told me the thing about dogs tasting like lamb. He added “someone at work just gave me a bunch of rosemary. We could make a stew.”

I replied that I was tempted. But that I couldn’t think about it now. There was glass to sweep, Saran wrap to tape to the window so the AC wouldn’t escape, a neighbor to thank, a child to put to sleep…

And another trip to take to Virgil’s. Where the guys in the window department will soon know me by name. And have all of our measurements on record. And — please, God — offer me some sort of frequent flyer card. Because if it’s true what they say: that three times makes a habit, then Mina has crossed the line. She’s a career window breaker now. An inveterate destroyer of all things louvred. The John Dillinger of dogs.

All I can say is, she’d better hope she gets a nice judge when her case finally comes to trial. Otherwise she’ll be singing “baa-baa hot dog” all the way to the slow cooker.

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