You couldn’t fool Dram, even when he was asleep. Judging by his expression here as he gazes towards the kitchen, my guess is that he was having a nap when someone opened “his” biscuit cupboard. I reckon he is about half a second away from galloping to the kitchen.
As he got older we allowed him more concessions. For example he was allowed to climb the step from the living room and view our eating habits from closer quarters in the breakfast room. He was always curious but also very careful. He seemed to have a golden rule of his own in that he never touched anything that was on a table or other piece of furniture but if an item of food was on the floor then that was his, no question. In fact it didn’t need to be on the floor; on the way to the floor was good enough for him – its chances of reaching the floor were almost negligible. Being curious though, meant that he would put the very ends of his paws on the edge of the table from time to time just to peer over the top and see what was there. This was not a problem as he only looked and never touched.
However, there was one very funny episode that got him into trouble with Jennie. We each had a small cake on a plate and my wife and I had taken ours to the living room. Jennie had left hers on the breakfast room table while she went into her bedroom for a moment. When she returned, the plate was in the same place but the cake had gone. By chance I witnessed what had happened. Dram had put his paws on the table for a closer look at the cake but had accidentally caught the edge of the plate with a claw. The plate tipped suddenly, propelling the cake into the air where it described a really neat arc about three feet above Dram’s head before falling behind him. As the plate settled back into place Dram turned like a flash and no part of that cake reached the carpet. He left no clues. It was the perfect crime.
Dram could take any amount of fussing. If Granny Anne stopped tickling him under his chin he would simply nudge her arm to start again. If she was watching TV or reading a book, or otherwise ignoring him he would nudge her elbow until she paid attention. If this didn’t work he had other ways to atract her attention including launching into his party trick, which was to spin round suddenly in the middle of the floor, grab his tail in his mouth and take it to her, walking sideways but taking good care to look where he was going. Then he would bring it to me – and both of us would make a fuss and tell him how clever he was.
It is widely recognised by now that our canine friends have “powers”, for want of a better word, that we hardly understand. I am not thinking here so much about their ability to “read” our moods and feelings and behave accordingly, amazing though that is, but of something more mysterious. Dram gave us reason to think about these aspects a few times. For example, through much of his life I worked from home but went away to work once per fortnight. These trips involved being away from home for anything from 12 hours to around 60 hours, returning in the evening or early hours of the morning. There was no way of predicting exactly when I would arrive home. Despite this, 20 minutes before I arrived, Dram would move to the back door, even though his bed was only a couple of feet away, and wait there for me. His accuracy was eerie.
I am sure that Jennie and Granny Anne could tell you a lot more about Dram, but my version of his story is almost finished.