Erin, a mountain girl, is a true dog lover. Her big Labradors, Chevy and Cooper, are the loves of her life—and don’t think they don’t know it. Every day, when Erin comes home from work, there they are, crowding the door, prancing, tails flagging, looking for ear rubs… and biscuits, of course.
Erin noticed early on that both dogs had quirks. For one, Cooper could not be trusted around tissues. Something about discarded tissues piqued his interest and he could often be spotted hiding out to devour them. Of course, Erin took steps to make sure he didn’t have access, but he wasn’t above raiding a trash can here and there. Luckily, facial tissues dissolved pretty easily in Cooper’s digestive system, so no real harm was done. Chevy, on the other hand, has a far worse quirk. Chevy loves socks. Clean, worn, folded or loose, if Chevy sees a sock, he views it like a delectable treat and wolfs it down as quickly as possible. Socks do not clear the system as easily as tissues, however, as Erin learned the hard way. Chevy’s love for sock gobbling has landed him in the vet hospital more than once. One might wonder how hard it would be to keep socks away from Chevy’s reach, and the answer would be ‘very hard.’ You see, it’s easy enough to keep them in a drawer or armoire, but that’s assuming they’re put away, ready for the next use. Chevy has yet to figure out how to retrieve the socks when they’re put away, but he has been known to raid the hamper or try to wrestle them from Erin’s grip the moment she’s removed them.
So serious was this problem that Erin limited dog sitters to professionals who would take responsibility for Chevy’s quirks. Your average college student might not take the sock threat seriously enough for this particular situation.
In the effort to keep her lovable Chevy safe, Erin has taken great pains to keep socks put away. In truth, the status of socks is never far from her mind. Where are the socks being folded? Did any drop on the floor in front of the drier? Did I turn my back a moment too long while pairing them? These are the questions that plague poor Erin. But some circumstances are beyond even her careful control.
Recently, Erin was down with the flu for several days running. If you’ve ever had the flu, you know that chills and sweats are part of the experience. And so are emergency jogs to the bathroom. At one point, upon breaking a fever, Erin, huddled on the couch, removed her socks. Not trusting Chevy or her own ability to stay awake to stand guard, she pushed them deep into the couch cushions. All was well until an emergency trip to the bathroom came upon her and she vacated the couch abruptly. You can imagine what happened next. Chevy, whose keen nose could sniff out the hiding place of a pair of socks with little effort, plunged his snout into the crack between the cushions and fetched the socks. With his prize retrieved, he gleefully gulped them down.
When Erin emerged from the bathroom, she had a bad feeling. Something wasn’t right. And then it hit her. The socks! She ran to the couch and searched the cushions. She even removed them, tossing them aside, hoping beyond hope that she was mistaken. She found none. Crestfallen, she realized what might have happened. She quickly scanned the floor, searching around chairs and rugs, under the bed and shook out the dog beds too. The socks were nowhere to be found. She glared at Chevy, whose high ears and happy face gave no indication of his treachery.
There was always the slight chance that Chevy might simply pass the socks and for that, Erin fervently hoped. The more likely scenario was that the sock gobbling would result in an obstruction, requiring some intervention. There was nothing to do now but watch for symptoms and wait.
Luckily, this bout of obstruction required no surgery, but there was still a lot of hovering and watching and waiting for him to be in the clear. So much handwringing over one simple oversight—the unforgivable act of not hiding socks well enough.
Poor Erin is just going to have to live with these quirks and act accordingly to the best of her ability. But for any visitor aimed on removing their shoes and socks, Erin is quick to warn, “Beware of the sock gobbler.”