Norwich Tales

Waving The White Flag • December 1998

Surrender is not an option

Nigel, like many puppies, is interested in little else but having fun. Unfortunately, sometimes the things he views as fun can be inconvenient for me to say the least. I am speaking of his habit of what I call “waving the white flag.” Just last week, I thought Nigel was in the room with me but apparently he had slipped away. I called his name and I became a little worried when I could not find him. Just as I was heading upstairs, I saw a small reddish blur followed by a long white kite-like tail, streaking across the landing, going from the guest bathroom to the bedroom across the hall. Nigel had discovered the toilet paper in there! Admittedly, it was a rather funny sight, and he thought that my unsuccessful attempt to try to take away the toilet paper was equally funny.

Additionally, it never fails that if a sock has been forgotten on the floor, Nigel will find it and before long, the chase is on. It is his rule of thumb to find the forgotten sock just as we are preparing to leave the house. Chasing a small

Nigel as a pup – about 5 months old

dog with perceived “treasure” means that he only runs faster than you ever thought he could, weaving in and out of places you'll never be able to grasp him . Getting tough and demanding that he drop the sock does nothing, as he is sure I am kidding anyway. Working together like two predators to trap prey is the only way Mike and I can get a stolen sock back quickly.

The other game Nigel has created is the perennial crowd pleaser, Steal the Napkin From the Guest’s Lap. This is by far his favorite game as it involves more interesting people than just Mike and me. What began as what we thought was a one time breach of etiquette, has become Nigel’s favorite game as he steals the napkin from a guest’s lap and runs wild through the house with it. Fortunately our dinners are not formal and our friends are dog loving people. My temporary solution has been to advise all guests to keep their napkin on the table. Any napkin properly placed on a lap that is stolen will be the guest’s responsibility to retrieve!