A Timber & Scarlett Story (11-2008)
Years ago I submitted this story for some dog-related prize relating to the movie “Marley & Me.” I did not win, but I thought I would share it anyway. JR and I continue to refer to this episode, especially when he is in the grocery store and hungry. Here goes…
Our “Marley” is a three year old yellow lab named Scarlett. There are many stories from which to choose, but this is a classic for any dog owner. My husband and I took our two English labs (a black and a yellow) with us for a weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a yearly trip, so we have our routine set out. Before we get to the quaint little town of Helen, Georgia, we stop for groceries. This trip, we’d had several mishaps that had us arriving later than usual and my husband, JR, was starving. So, at the grocery store, JR decided to get four fried chicken legs from the deli counter to tide him over until we cooked dinner at our cabin.
We loaded our groceries in the back of the SUV and headed off. While checking out at our next stop, the cashier commented on our cute dog out in the car. I looked up fully expecting to see my angel Scarlett’s smiling face and her crazy tongue hanging out the side of her mouth. Scarlett is always the one with her head out the window. However, instead of Scarlett, I see our black lab, Timber. Hmmm, I thought, that’s strange. Timber usually prefers to relax in the back of the car. I thought, maybe the cooler air was making him frisky enough to get up and check things out. But, there weren’t any other people around with whom Scarlett could be “visiting” through the other car window. I decided I’d better go check on her.
When I got to the car, I looked in through the open window and saw Scarlett chowing down on the chicken legs! I yelled at her to stop, and she started swallowing them even faster, knowing the end of her meal was near! By the time I got the back opened and grabbed the chicken away from her, she’d downed three chicken legs, bones and all. Keep in mind, we were in the store for no more than five minutes. In that time, Scarlett had found her way to the grocery bag with the chicken in it, pulled it out without disturbing the rest of the groceries, ate a hole through the ziplock containing the chicken, and devoured three entire legs.
For the next thirty seconds, I thought it was pretty funny. First, because there’s poor sweet Timber, who had his head out the window trying to alert us to the miscreant’s activities inside. Second, because even if he had thought about it, there was NO WAY Scarlett would have let him get near her chicken. Third, because it was my very hungry husband’s chicken Scarlett had just polished off. Well, that’s when I started to get concerned. It’s best for us all to make sure JR stays fed, and at that point there was only one dog-slobber-covered leg left. Then it hit me – Scarlett had not picked the bones clean, she had eaten the bones, too.
Ruh-roh. Tune in again for the not-so-climactic ending where we all find out Scarlett survived the bones, but was lucky to survive the wrath of a hungry JR!