Hound Dog

He rolls his eyes toward
the last piece of cheese on the plate,
which is low hanging fruit on a coffee table.
His snout is about table height
and he is sure gourmet cheese
smells every bit as good
as a dead gopher or fish.
He wants to roll in these,
given half a chance,
but for now the cheese appeals
to his appetite.
Not that he would savor it.
He would gulp it down in a split second;
not even put a tooth mark in it.

He looks from the crumbly old cheddar
sitting next to the last
two butter tarts,
and back to me,
again and again,
looking like he’s asking me,
‘Who could be so dense
as to not get my drift?’
He waves his ample proboscis
from me,
to the tarts and cheese,
over and over.
Imploring,
he lets out a long, little whine
to let me know how much he
truly, truly, truly wants
those leftovers,
as though a thousand years
of bred loyalty to Man
has been transferred onto this one plate.
I see him hedge his bets;
measuring the distance
between the snacks
and his getaway route.
With one last whine and no response from me,
he shifts his weight from leg to leg,
looks to his keeper,
swiftly snatches the cheese and a tart
off the table
and eats them on the run,
with all of us exclaiming his name
in surprise and reprimand.
A few moments later, I look down the hall
and the dog is slowly working his way
back to the party,
licking up his crumbs off the floor
and looking smug.

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