Australian Shepherd Maddy has been attacking my copy of Richard Russo’s Bridge of Sighs. First she ripped off the back cover and gnawed a corner of the book, lending a whole new meaning to the term dog eared. Then she tore off the front cover and pulled out page 71 —which thankfully I’d already read.
She is not destructive by nature. The most mischief she gets into is carrying off socks that are left on the floor, presumably to go somewhere suck the footy goodness out of them. But there’s something about books she finds intolerable. Or is it just this book? Could it be the picture of Russo on the cover? Or maybe the part where a dog is shot in the ass with a pellet gun. It could be she’s peeved that I’d rather sit and read than give her my undivided attention. The book is a rival.
Or maybe she is just a dog.
There’s big money these days in treating dogs like mystical and deeply complex creatures. Marley & Me is the number one movie and The Dog Whisperer is on cable every night it, so it’s easy to start ascribing human traits to our canine friends. On the other side of the fence is Jon Katz, who’s made a business of telling us that dogs are actually just being dogs and we are the ones who are messed up.
I’m surprised she didn’t rip the cover off of one of his books.