A little white dog keeps hiding and re-hiding his bone.  As the soulful melody plays on, he worries and digs it up, only to bury it again.  This is the Travelers Insurance commercial.  I don’t know why I thought only movie dogs and dogs on television behaved this way.  But this is real behavior attributed to real dogs.  I’ve seen Frankie in action.

The first time I witnessed this, Frankie was pacing back and forth so much I thought he had to pee.  I didn’t see the bone he had tucked in his mouth.  Outside, I watched in fascination as he dug a hole, placed his treasure inside, and shoveled the dirt back with his nose.  Then proceeded to have a sneezing fit.

I called a friend.  “Did you know dogs really do this?”  She knew.  She and her husband had stopped giving their Westie bones because he never ate them.  Instead, he proceeded directly to the backyard.

Since Frankie’s an indoor dog, I’ve found them all over the house.  At the bottom of the laundry basket, behind books on the bottom shelf, between sofa cushions.  Whenever I enter to find books spilled out on the living room floor, I know Frankie’s been digging again.

Photo by P. Hazouri

Having him around has been good for my obsessive compulsive-ness.  It used to be my house was neat and I knew where everything was.  Yesterday, I found a half-chewed rawhide behind the pages of my old high school photo album, along with a shredded corsage from Prom 1986.  Only the ribbon could be salvaged, which is really all I should’ve kept anyway.

Problem is, Frankie’s not like the dog in the commercial.  His compulsion only seems to extend to the burying part, not the digging up part.  Contrary to what everyone says, he does not seem to remember where they are.  Nor does he ever look for them.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If I happen to sit on one, fine.  But I’m certainly not digging in the dirt.  The one outside will probably be unearthed 50 years from now like some old time capsule.  Either way, Frankie’s not worried.