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In the days leading up to my Aussie trip, The Pig watched my preparations carefully. She knew something was up — although, when I noticed her staring at the large suitcase out in my room, I decided to put it in the cupboard, hoping she’d forget it. But I had to organize the clothes I wanted to take — so piles appeared everywhere. This is as opposed to the normal piles of clean laundry that I’d been too busy to put away, the stack of books to be returned to the library, Mrs. Beeton’s cage covers (towels to ensure a dark cage for her sleeping pleasure),  exercise  weights, etc. I figured, to The Pig’s eyes, this would all appear as part of the regular rubble that is my room.

She moped on the settee, head resting on pillow, glaring at me, refused walks with her mommy L’il Sis…

She shat on the living room carpet twice, on my bedroom carpet once (although spread out in little pellets across the room) and peed three times– again on carpet. Her passive-aggressive statement: “I love you, Grandma and I don’t want you to leave.” Any more such displays of affection towards me and I wouldn’t have a house left.

The Pig hates change and she hates it when members of her pack leave (especially me, the maker and server of her daily chicken soup rations.) Dogs often react this way. Poochie used to sink into a depression when Gill brought out her canary yellow suitcase. She knew it meant her partner in crime was leaving.

The first week of my vacation was rough — L’il Sis was at work (plus some after-work but work-related  commitments), Crazy D was away on a job, Grandma was in Oz. The day I left, I managed to sneak my suitcases out to the front porch without her seeing me. Then, when departure time came, I announced casually that I was ‘going out to do errands and would be back before she knew it’. She suspected nothing…but it didn’t take her long to figure out that her loving Grandma had left her for dead!

I don’t think there is a clause in my insurance policy that covers “Acts of The Pig”…so I anticipated returning home to totally ruined carpets, possibly chewed furniture, cupboards scratched even more than they were by doggie claws. All to show me she loves me and misses me and is REALLY PISSED that I left her in the lurch. And by ‘in the lurch’, I mean buckets full of chicken soup in the freezer for her lunches, arrangements made with friends and neighbors to take her out, walk her…she is high maintenance and is her own self-contained little Grievance Department.

But when I returned, she was happy to see me and the house was no worse for wear…truthfully, there isn’t much left of ‘good’ furniture, rugs, or cupboards to ruin…she has had her way with everything. But I count my blessings…she could have eaten the walls (think “Marley and Me”) or opened the door and let the outside critters in for a party– as my own three did as teenagers when I was away.

Crazy D left this week to go we know not where or when for his job on The Amazing Race Canada. The Pig, having warmed up to him during my absence, took to moping on the sofa for him. I’m sure she figured that she had just gotten him trained to give her food from the table and take her for walks…all that training and then he leaves! At least I’m back to be her flunky, do her bidding.