As most of you know, nearly from the first days Hermione was allowed outside to start learning how to potty like a big girl, she has been delivering me very strange and sometimes scary as Hell gifts. There have been so many incidents of her carrying in rocks, sticks, branches and chunks of concrete that I have lost count of how many times I've had to stop her at the front door, check her mouth and say,
"Hermione, drop it."
She just can't help herself. If it blows in the wind or sticks up out of the ground, you can pretty much guarantee she is going to try to carry it away and attempt to sneak it in the flat. There have been a few times where I've been half asleep or pre-occupied and she's managed to get an item or two past me: like the fully intact banana she brought up for breakfast one morning, or the disgusting tampon she smuggled into my bed. She's brought home a vine from grapes, completely stripped of fruit; a hunk of soggy bread; leaves; flowers; feathers...the list could go on and on. So, it's no surprise that last night she added one of the oddest things to her ever growing treasure list.
Before purchasing Hermione, I did hours and hours of research on small breed dogs, trying to determine what breed would suit Mr. K and I the best. When I read up on the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel I thought the breed sounded exactly what we were looking for. All of the websites agreed that the Cavalier is the ultimate lap dog and fantastic companion. We were sold. The problem is, none of the websites warned us that these little toy dogs still maintained some very strong hunting/seeking instincts. In the last month, Hermione's performed and held two perfect points without any training. Sure one of those points was at a bug-the other was at a bird-but the form was perfect regardless. She seeks and destroys bugs with a relentless ferocity and she most certainly is going to murder her favourite stuffed bear with her vicious death shake.
Lap dog, my butt!
Last night, Hermione demonstrated her honed hunting skills yet again, delivering one of the most strangest prizes.
When returning from the last potty trip of the night, I noticed that Hermione was just a bit too eager to get back to the flat. This is a sure sign that she has something she shouldn't. Upon inspection, it was confirmed that she had something clenched in her little chompers, but I couldn't figure out what it was.
"Hermione, drop it." I intoned and she spit her coveted prize on to the hard wood floor. It hit with a strange thunk; a sound not resembling a stone, chunk of concrete or a stick. I had her sit and began searching the floor in the vicinity of where I had heard the foreign object fall and was completely appalled wen my fingers struck something soft and slimy.
"Oh! Babe!" I shrieked from the hall.
"Hermione...!" I spluttered.
"She...erm, I think she got a snail!"
At least, I hoped she had got a snail. I didn't want to run down he list of my other options of creatures that were slimy and squishy. Mr. K said that he wanted to see this strange slimy critter, so with Hermione's collar in one hand and a clean poop bag in another, I scooped Mr. Slime up and brought him into Mr. K's office, where I promptly turned our visiter out on to his desk top.
Mr. K, not having much more vision than me-which is nothing-gently, and bravely might I add, poked and prodded the little guy. After his thorough inspection, he confirmed that Hermione had indeed carried in a snail and miraculously had not injured him. As we sat and discussed the oddity of a puppy carrying home a snail, Mr. Slime started poking his head out of his shell in order to explore the foreign world he had just been so rudely plunked into.
Not knowing anything at all about snails, but knowing that he was uninjured, Mr. K and I decided that Mr. Slime should be returned to his natural habitat. I had a vague idea of where Hermione had probably snatched him from and so back outside I went, proud puppy bouncing along in one hand and slimy snail clutched safely inside a poop bag in the other.
Mr. Slime must have decided that the bag was safe because by the time I got him back to approximately where he had come from, he had attached himself rather firmly to the inside of the bag. I think me shaking him out was more violent than his trip in Hermione's mouth. He plopped out on to the dirt with a "thunk" and after making sure he was upright, Hermione and I headed back home; to bed where we were supposed to be going in the first place.
When I relayed our adventure to the owner of the little cafe down the road-where we go pretty much every day-she told me that after it rains here, all of the snails come out. It all made sense, but I hadn't even thought about snails just hanging out where Hermione could make them her midnight snack. Either way, "all's well that ends well" and I think this slimy situation ended well, with the snail back outside and Hermione and I snug in our own beds...snailless.