My Dog Ace and the Saga of the Stick

This is a story about my dog, Ace. Ace is a very expensive and fancy schmancy purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Ace is also a total asshole.

I mean, I love him. Don’t get me wrong. Just look at that face! How do you not love that face? He’s a very handsome chap. But also, he’s an asshole.

Now, he’s an asshole for varied reasons. Like, how he torments our elderly cat, unless they’re eating “birthday cake” and you can click here if you’re brave enough to discover what that means. And when he eats rabbit poop and other dogs’ poop and his own poop. Why in the hell does my dog eat so much excrement?

But mostly, he’s just generally an asshole. Like me, it’s his natural disposition. We can’t help who we are, now can we?

Ace isn’t all bad, mind you. He’s cute as hell and when he’s not nipping at small children while simultaneously excitement peeing on their shoes, he’s a bit of a love. Last week, after I had my panic attack, he sidled over to me and fell asleep on my feet. That’s something he hasn’t done much since he was a wee pup.

His breed is very loyal, but stubborn. Surprisingly strong, and proud, and also a little bit whiny. They’re protective. My Ace is ever on guard and has the bark of a much bigger dog. And they’ve got quite the nose, these corgis. We have some wildlife in our yard on occasion and Ace is always tracking their scent.

And brains, my friend. These dogs are smart. Ace has surely proven to be smarter than I am and he’s done so handily with nothing more than a simple stick.

I can’t remember when or how it started, but Ace somehow learned that I’m not fond of him bringing sticks in the house. And really, who can blame me? He chews them up, stains the carpet, and makes me worry endlessly about splinters in his gums and possible bowel obstructions.

Somewhere along the way I began trading him a dog treat every time he brought stick into the house. He caught on quickly and, like the short legged mobster he his, started to shake me down for dog treats every day by threatening to bring in a stick.

I’d let him out to go explore the yard, go relieve himself, and bark at all the birds. When I’d call him back in, he’d trot from the woodsy part of the back corner of the yard carrying a shiny brand new stick.

Or he’d just appear at the door and threaten me by putting one paw inside, as if to say, “Hey ma, I’m gonna bring this stick in and get splinters in my gums and rack up a hefty vet bill if you don’t trade me for a cookie.” And he’d win, every single time cause I’m a sucker and he knows it.

There was the stick with all the thorns, a truly menacing sight. I might have given him two treats that time just to be safe. And the stick with all the branches on the day of that freak spring snow storm. Pine trees, oaks, trimmings from the hedge. It mattered not. If he brought the stick and gave it up, he got a cookie. And that’s how it went, until …

He brought me a bone. Like a real bone from a skeleton of an actual mammal. He didn’t wait at the door this time, though. He strutted his fluffy corgi butt right past me at the kitchen sink and ran for the living room.

I don’t know how to handle that, I thought out loud. So, I called my husband who was away at a business conference two states away. No answer. So, I texted him because I quite literally did not know how to handle this.

Unfortunately he was also very unsure of how to deal with our dog bringing home what appeared to be part of a pelvis. So were all of my friends. Let this be a lesson to you, folks. When your dog starts bringing home stray body parts, none of your so-called friends will be able to help you in your time of need and disgust.

And even though Ace had deviated way outside our normal stick/cookie exchange program, it eventually dawned on me that this was a shakedown and he was looking for a treat. So, I lured him outside with a Milk Bone, he dropped the goods, and I chucked it over the fence. Then I washed my hands until they bled.

It was later determined on my Facebook page that dogs do this sort of thing a lot. I have to be real with you, that seems pretty awful and if I’d known getting a dog involved this sort of stuff I might have just remained a cat person.

It was also determined, thanks to the input of my crime scene investigator friend, that these were not human remains and most likely those of a deer. That might have seemed obvious to you, but remember, I’m a person who is not smarter than a 25 pound dog with three inch legs.

It should be noted that not long after the stomach churning activities that morning, my dog Ace took a sizable dump in the back yard and ate it as if he’d been starved for a week. Then, like the grifter that he is, brought me an actual stick. A proper stick. And, yes, of course he got his cookie.