Retorts: Taking a bite from crime

GROVER, AKA "Bandit," contemplating her next heist.

GROVER, AKA “Bandit,” contemplating her next heist.

We have a serious crime problem in our neighborhood. We’ve taken all kinds of precautions, but nothing seems to help. This particular perpetrator is so brazen that the thief goes around wearing a black eye-mask, and when caught, seems to be totally beyond rehabilitation.

I’m talking about our “new” dog, Grover.

retortsShe’s a charming, bright, energetic, loving Australian shepherd who ran away from her home on July 4. Her owners never came for her, so we adopted G-dog from the animal shelter a week later.

However, she is an unrepentant thief. If there is anything edible within reach, she will take it. She steals food from senior dog Scout, from cat Marble, and from any human silly enough to take his or her eye off the dinner plate.

Her new nickname is “Bandit,” which is visually underlined by the black fur that frames her eyes. Her face is otherwise brown and white.

She breaks into the pantry. She raids the trash cans. If you try to put something up high or behind a barricade, she will perform an acrobatic feat which allows her to snake the item despite all our best efforts.

I’m not sure where all this larceny comes from. Did Grover grow up in poverty? Or is she some sort of canine Robin Hood, stealing from the rich (us) and giving to the poor (her)?

Her tendencies became especially visible during the recent holiday season. You know what I’m talking about … parties, family gatherings, platters of this and that. People sitting around, talking and not providing proper security for their chow. Folks telling stories and gesturing with a cookie.

Chomp! Chomp! Snatch!

Some folks have suggested the concept of crate-training. I know there are people who swear by it, but to me it looks like a doggie jail. In addition to that objection, what makes anyone think that the clever Grover couldn’t bust out of there before you can say “meat and cheese plate”? A while back, I remember buying a gate to keep an earlier dog-thief (the legendary Cassie) out of the kitchen and she simply jumped over it. I can still remember that look in her eye that seemed to say “That was easy. What’s next, Einstein?”

In this war on crime, the humans are clearly losing. Like the previous wars on poverty and drugs, we are up against a force of nature. I can only hope she doesn’t figure out what credit cards are for.

Jim Tortolano’s Retorts column appears weekly.

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