College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

Katie, our Australian Shepherd, blessed our lives with her enthusiasm and sweetness for 16 wonderful years. Because she was the alpha female of her litter, she was domineering and tried pushing me around during her youth. She was so active and curious and I struggled to keep her active enough to match her energy level.

One evening after work I made a homemade banana cream pie. It was quite a project for me. I had overcome the humid Georgia weather and made the perfect meringue to top the pie. It had little curls that browned when I baked it.

  I removed the pie from the oven and placed it on the counter to cool. Katie stared at me with that Aussie stare. I shook my head and said, “No pie,” and pushed the pie a bit farther from the counter’s edge.

I had a business meeting that evening, so I secured Katie in the kitchen, kissed her on her head, and left the house. I was 45 minutes into my meeting, when I had a sudden feeling of panic. A vision of Katie eating my perfect pie flashed in my mind. My heart raced, and I moved forward in my chair to stand and leave the meeting. After a few minutes, I decided to stay at the meeting and trust Katie to behave.

When the meeting adjourned, I raced home and threw open the kitchen door. MY PIE! My perfect banana cream pie was missing the entire meringue topping and Katie was no where to be found. I said, “Katie, come here!” in my firmest commanding voice. No dog appeared. I said it again, and I saw a brown nose then a pensive dog appear from her den. She had been b-a-d and knew it. As she slinked over to me, I was preparing to take her by the collar and point to the pie to say, “NO!” It was then that I noticed the tale-tale signs of her meringue-stealing crime clinging to her whiskers, neck and ears. Her head was covered in the sticky goo. I broke into a smile and wanted to laugh. I managed to compose myself a bit and say, “No.” But Katie saw through my toughness. She raised her ears a bit. I petted her lovingly as I washed her head with a wash cloth. We shared a bonding moment. I celebrated a funny memory I would have forever, and she smacked her jowls happily trying to remove remnants of her tasty treat.

Revised Nov. 3, 2006     |     Printer Friendly Version