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The Tissue Thief

 

Cricket is a tissue thief. Cricket used to stalk a tissue like it was a wild beast. She’d lower herself into a bow, like she was about to play a very serious game of twister. Then she’d grab the tissue with her teeth and run to a safe place to dismantle it. She could have been sleeping when the sound of a tissue being pulled from the box woke her up. And if she couldn’t get the tissue directly from my hand, she’d jump off the bed and try to get the tissue on its way to the garbage can.

The thing is, it has to be a used tissue, and I have allergies, so Cricket has a lot of used tissues to choose from. Sometimes I am lazy and leave a couple of tissues on my bedside table before forcing myself to sit up and throw them all away in a clump. Cricket can’t reach the top of the bedside table, but she can leap off the bed, walk slowly between the bed and the table and gradually rise up on her toes to see where the tissues went and calculate whether she can reach them with her teeth before she loses her balance.

In my room, the garbage can is two feet tall and elevated on a file box another foot in the air, so that Cricket can’t shove her paws through the top and remove stray tissues. But it doesn’t stop her from trying.

The garbage can in the living room even has a locking mechanism on it.

Some time in Cricket’s first year, after I’d been thinking that for sure she was devouring the tissues whole, we discovered her stash behind the TV. There wasn’t just a tissue or two back there. There were dozens, maybe a hundred tissues, piled together where I couldn’t see them as I walked past. And yes, I’m sure I should have been a better housekeeper, pulling the TV center forward to dust behind it more than once a year, but I didn’t, and Cricket was skinny enough to squeeze herself back there and secrete her treasures there for later use.

It’s the same way she buries crackers or bones or pieces of cheese in various corners of chairs and couches and under beds, certain she’ll find a use for them later.

Cricket is a hoarder, that’s what I’m trying to say.

My mother is stubborn. She has kept her two short, open-topped, garbage cans, one plastic and one wicker, in her bedroom. Predictably, any time a tissue is used and dropped into either garbage can, Cricket jumps off the bed, pushes her nose inside and pulls out the tissue with her teeth. Then she’ll either jump back onto the bed with her treasure, or slink under the bed to her “apartment” where no human can disturb her.

There are times, not many, when it is safe to blow my nose. These are the times when she is too exhausted to even lift her head, and she closes her eyes and just dreams of the all the tissues she’d like to eat. I can only imagine the magical tower of tissue boxes she climbs in her dreams. She is a very happy puppy.

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About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

41 responses »

  1. Doggy does the same, he’s a sneaky furry beast, tissues and plastic bags, he find them wherever they are.

    Reply
    • Cricket thinks all plastic bags mean that she’s going outside, so instead of collecting them, whenever she sees one she runs to her leash. But paper towels, oh lord, those might have food left on them. Better watch your fingers if she’s around.

      Reply
  2. Oh Cricket, you are funny 😀 Stalking a tissue – are you sure you’re not part cat 🙂

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  3. Can you imagine the snow she could make with the pile behind the tv? Good thing she’s a hoarder 😉

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  4. She reminds me so much of my dearly departed dog Sandy. Rachel, I followed you through the blog I have with my daughter, but am switching over to following you through my new blog (writersite.org), in case you wonder why you are unfollowed elsewhere. Luanne

    Reply
  5. And you think you have it bad-I’m housebreaking the new puppy. She goes piddle more than a male. They put down a paper towel to soak it up and leave it for a while. Big mistake. Kaci takes the piddly towel and starts shredding it and taking the pieces all over the house. Cricket may be a hoarder, but Kaci is a giver. Puppies.

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  6. Lol. Cricket is so cute:) My Alex loves soap, specifically Ivory. One time I was cleaning the bathroom and the next thing I know my ivory soap disappear and I saw her looking for more:)

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  7. Toady is a tissue thief as well. He can even remove them from a tissue box. Sneaky pups always find something to get into!

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  8. Tissues & paper towels were the only thing that Pluto would chew. He was very good about leaving other things alone, but PT & tissues were fair game if left within reach.

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  9. Haha, my Hungarian Viszla, Shelby, used to do the same thing. Luckily I don’t have allergies (sorry to hear you do) so it was a winter game. She also used to reel the toilet paper off the roll in the toilet whe she was a puppy. I’d go into the toilet and there would be toilet paper reeled off all over the floor. 🙂

    Reply
    • Cricket doesn’t go for the toilet paper for some reason. I think it might be because the bathroom garbage can, right under the toilet paper roll, has a metallic surface. Cricket sees this silver puppy staring back at her and starts scratching at that, ignoring the toilet paper entirely.

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  10. Mag (Chancy's Mumsy)

    Oh, we have a ‘would-be’ tissue and paper towel hoarder here but we have all the trash cans out of reach or behind doors. once in awhile one is left in reach and it get torn to shreds and stashed behind my computer chair. Hugs and nose kisses

    Reply
    • Cricket is feeling much better about herself now that she knows she’s not alone in tissue thievery. Well, okay, I’m the one who feels better. She never thought it was a problem in the first place.

      Reply
  11. My Pomeranian Grizzly loves tissue too! He used to steal it and hide it in a dog bed that he has under my bed. That’s where he keeps all the things he steals, from hair brushes to underwear. He can’t steal tissue anymore though. A big trash can with a lid solved the problem.

    Reply
    • Cricket doesn’t believe in keeping all of her treasures in one place. She has some under my mother’s bed, some under mine, some in the couch, others under the chairs in the living room and in the kitchen. Diversification, that’s her plan.

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  12. Thanks for checking out my page! Cricket is adorable ❤

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  13. I steal used tissues too! But I don’t hoard them. I tear them to shreds and leave the shreds lying in a trail across the floor. Even better is when I can escape outside and leave my trail all around the garden!

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  14. One of our dogs can enter Cricket’s tissue club. The other is in the swab club. Lovely. Bases covered.

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  15. Funny Cricket! Our cat, the Not-So-Little Prince, has a thing about the recycling bin and obsessively tips it over and goes through the contents, then rolls around in the basket. Go figure! Nevertheless, pets can be terribly entertaining. 🙂

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  16. I thought it was just my dog that had the used tissue obsession! Only Ernie does eat them, and then he gets awful gas. He will actually go into pockets of sweaters and jackets to search if you leave them on the back of the kitchen chairs.

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  17. Hi Rachel, thanks for stopping by Dog Leader Mysteries.

    Now that I have had the pleasure of reading your writing, I have a question. What’s your goal for your blog in 2013? I’m asking myself, am I blogging a book or ???

    I am a member of Blog Paws and write for Be the Change for Animals. You may already know of their network and four times a year blog hop.

    Reply
    • I haven’t heard of Blog Paws or Be the Change, but I will definitely look into them. As for the “is this a book” question, I don’t know. For now I’m happy with the progress I’ve been making in shaping these short pieces into coherent narratives. Essays have always been a challenge for me.

      Reply
  18. My Chicki is mad about tissues, too. She is my eighth dog, and none of the others cared a hoot about them…..

    Reply

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