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Ricky’s Coffee Break

12/26 BM

A typical search and destroy mission

The pattern was established back in the winter of 2003, Ricky’s first Christmas.  Matt, then 22, and Robby, 10, were locked in one of their weird competitions:  Whose gift would Ricky like better?  Matt had stashed away three french fries from a recent visit to the Diner, which he covered with a paper napkin and placed in a small box.  He then


put that box inside another box, wrapped the whole deal, stuck a bow on it, and placed it under our “tree” — the indoor basketball hoop covered with a green fleece blanket, topped by a gold star, and decorated with a single strand of lights.  (The tree was also Matt’s handiwork.)  He buried his special present under the pile


of boxes — maybe three layers deep.  Later on, while carting his last few gifts to the tree, he discovered the box of french fries was missing.  All that was left was a pile of


shredded paper and cardboard.  Remarkably, nothing else had been disturbed.

It happens every year.  Carol and I are wrapping present upstairs in my study.  Matt, Greg, and Robby are wrapping presents downstairs in the playroom.  From time to time the “finished” gifts are hauled into the den and deposited under the “tree.”  All five of us lose track of Ricky.  And then, all of a sudden, we realize it’s become too quiet . . .


In 2007, the victim of Ricky’s search-and-destroy mission was a box of Godiva dark chocolate that had been ticketed for Nana.  In 2010, he actually gnawed the end off a mahogany wine holder Matt had brought back for us from a shoot his ad agency had done in Argentina.  (Ricky’s always been partial to wood.  There’s no accounting for taste . . . )


The sentence

Which brings us to Christmas Eve 2012 — two nights ago.  Same deal.  Carol and I upstairs.  The three boys downstairs.  Ricky . . . who knows?

I get that familiar foreboding.  “Has anyone seen Ricky?”  No answer.  I rush down to the den . . . and I see small brown piles all over the carpet.  But no, it’s not . . . what I think it is.  Ricky has “unwrapped” and then helped himself to a box of Starbucks K-cups that had been destined for yours truly, leaving the remains all over the floor.  I suppose I shouldn’t have found this surprising, since he goes crazy over the smell of joe when it sits between us in the cup-holder of my Jeep.

We figured he’d be up all night after the caffeine hit, but no, no ill effects:  As usual, he slept like a baby.

Though I guess going forward I’ll have to prepare two cups of coffee on my Keurig every morning.


Categories: General
Hank Herman

6 Responses

  1. Judy Burke says:

    again you crack me up with your stories….I am LOL

  2. Hank says:

    Mary — I’m actually wondering about this thing about dogs and chocolate. Over his history Ricky has snarfed down his share of chocolate bars, and he’s never shown any ill effects.

  3. Hank: our first Beagle back in 1967 had his first Christmas. My mother bought a box of Reese’s peanut butter cups. Each candy was wrapped individually and packaged in a box that was wrapped in cellophane. Then my mother wrapped it in Christmas paper and placed it under the tree. There were boxes placed all around and on top of the candy. That beagle zoomed right into the gifts and while we were busy in another room, he unwrapped the present, removed the cellophane and then unwrapped each candy and ate the whole box of Reese’s peanut butter cups.
    He never got sick!

  4. Mimi says:

    Although none of my dogs unwrapped any gifts destined for others, we did make the mistake of leaving a bowl of shrimp cocktail and a cheese board unattended on Christmas Day. My guests and I made our way to the dining room table slightly tipsy, and began chowing down on whatever came out of the oven–burnt or otherwise. Luckily, Elizabeth had purchased collars for my two labs with jingle bells on them, and through my inebriated stupor, I realized a lot of jingling was going on. I ran to the source of the sound (the living room cocktail table) and found my two labs trying to figure out how to wrestle, toss and catch a cheddar cheese ball covered in nuts. Its consistency had them weirded out, so it was misshapen but not bitten in two. Surprisingly, they left the shrimp. The brie did its damage a bit later–we won’t go there. Those dogs—got to love them.

  5. Zelia Abbot says:

    To paraphrase the old chestnut: The Nose Knows. Ricky can smell all those goodies a mile away much less just under piles of paper and cardboard. After all, he is part blood-hound.

  6. Sandra Stark says:

    Either you guys love having X-MESSES, or someone needs to put the smelly stuff higher up before the fateful day!!!!!!