Typically, I wake up each morning to a warm, cuddly greeting from “The SnugglePooch”.
But this morning, something was amiss. There was no SnugglePooch in sight.
“Where’s Jolie?” I groggily asked Scott, who at 5:30 am, was already lying awake canoodling with his iPhone.
He slowly rolled over, and in his very best British accent, dramatically whispered words I hadn’t heard in four long years.
“She’s on a FlyQuest.”
I shifted my gaze to the edge of the bed. Squinting through the bright, vivid rays of a Minnesota sunrise, I saw Jolie, standing at attention, her gaze darting back and forth as big, fat horse fly circled around our bedchamber. The FlyQuest had commenced, indeed.
The elusive FlyQuest is initiated when someone (cough..cough..Scott!..cough!) leaves a door or window open, allowing a large insect to enter our domicile. Jolie does not approve of such breaches in security, and will not rest until the offending fly has been conquered.
Perhaps the best example of her intensity and focus is the Great New York FlyQuest of 2008.
For three days, Jolie refused to eat, sleep or go outside of our Upstate New York apartment. Her seven-pound body stood erect, perched at the edge of our bed as she watched the enemy aviate across every last inch of her territory. Every ten minutes or so, she would pounce. The irony of this all is that Jolie is terrible at catching flies. Terrible. She could literally be in a room filled with hundreds of thousands of insects, and probably wouldn’t be coordinated enough to capture a single one of them.
But Jolie doesn’t allow her clumsiness to put a damper on her intensity. She takes her duty quite seriously, refusing to relent until the intruder has been eliminated.
After seventy-two hours of unsuccessfully coaxing Jolie off the edge of our mattress, I was delighted to find the fly, writhing around on the kitchen floor in its final moments. It was dying of natural causes.
Jolie was still occupying her post at the edge of the bed, completely unaware that her sworn adversary was about to take his final breath. I scooped her up, bringing her into the kitchen so that she might finally claim her prize and reign supreme once more. As the fly twitched about on the linoleum, Jolie stood inches away. Her entire body shook violently as she watched the struggling creature. Each time I tried to inch her closer to the dying critter, she’d instantly jump back and begin quivering again.
She was afraid of the stupid fly.
After about ten minutes, the fly’s spindly little body finally gave way. In the middle of our kitchen floor, under the watchful eye of a seriously messed up chihuahua, he had passed on into the after life.
At this point, I tried to get Jolie to eat the fly, or at the very least, bat at the dumb thing with her paw so that our three-day saga wouldn’t be totally anticlimactic. This suggestion sent her running underneath the bed where she proceeded to whimper for the next four hours.
Perhaps she was mourning?
While Scott and I certainly didn’t adopt Jolie for her predatory skills, there is something slightly unsettling about learning your dog is quite literally incapable of harming a fly.
Here’s hoping I don’t have to wait another 72-hours before getting my snuggle partner back.
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