"The Chelsea Beach Dog"

Pat Fish

Now the dog person here in Critter Cove is supposed to be on a diet, and to show you how dedicated the humans of the lot are to this end, the husband of Critter Cove actually takes her for walks!

And to take our dog for a walk is a hoot because every pedestrian one encounters will invariably greet the dog personally, by name, with no such pleasantry for the human then walking.

Gloria is a Chelsea Beach dog. She came here when she was but a pup and has lived here since. Each morning, after the humans leave for workday labors and shut the gate on the fenced lot firmly behind them, Gloria proceeds down to the river, jumps into the water, and swims right next door to the lot with no fenced perimeter. From there she climbs the slope and exits directly onto Riverside Drive. She then methodically visits all the humans who she knows might have bones and such (and many save them just for Gloria), or any dogs that require her attendance. She has been found lying directly in the middle of the street and often several blocks far from her fenced-in yard.

Various and sundry Chelsea Beach personnel will give her last night's bones or take her in during unexpected thunderstorms. On one occasion, a baby-walking couple told the dogcatcher that she was indeed, their very own dog that had joined them to walk the toddler.

So the REAL owners of the Chelsea Beach dog now can be seen out and about and walking the dog that everyone knows. After the initial surprise at seeing Gloria actually attached to some sort of leash, there is then the pain of total lack of recall of any sort of name to the humans attached to the other end of the dog.

You get used to it after a while. On one occasion I assuaged the pain of just one such jogger by smiling and telling them that, yes, Gloria really does belong to someone.

Now with this diet thing, the husband and I are quite proud that we are serving her Science Diet Senior and have banned her from pizza participation.

However, it is my habit each and every week to crush all leftover bread, cereal, donuts, and whatnot and toss it over the deck railing for the bird fellows.

Only, ahem, it seems that more than the bird fellows have been at my donut offerings. Thinking herself unseen, I watched as she gulped down bits and pieces of donuts or breads. In her haste, Gloria takes no time to dust off the birdseed that cling to her stealthy treats.

Count on it...Gloria might not lose any weight in this diet endeavor, but both humans will get skinner than ever as they walk, hide pizza, and scout for a sneaky donut-stealing canine.

Our next plan is to take out an ad in the Baltimore Sun advising any and all to cease and desist in any feeding of the Chelsea Beach chowhound.