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Garbage Guard

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA/ LOVELAND — My brother, who lives in Loveland, had his garbage can stolen a few months ago from the curb in front of his house in a subdivision in broad daylight. As weird as that sounds, apparently some people are just desperate to get their hands on a garbage can with or without trash in it, which, in his case, would include used cat litter. And apparently, the neighbors didn’t feel anything was amiss as some beetle-headed ne’er-do-well lumbered down the street dragging a garbage can. Well, that’s not going to happen to us. We will not be a victim of garbage can theft because we have a garbage can guard dog.

We found this amazing dog living in a culvert on Valley Road, and he has been a trusted garbage can guard ever since. Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t LIKE the garbage can. Matter of fact he hates it because it has wheels. He hates ALL wheels – which I think is a throwback to the days when he peeked out of the culvert and watched wheels streaking past at breakneck speeds on that autobahn-like artery of transportation, Valley Road.

You may not realize how many things have wheels on them until you have a large dog chasing the thing you are pushing, pulling, or driving, and trying to bite the wheels. There’s the garbage can of course. But there’s also the wheelbarrow, the refrigerator dolly, the barbeque grill, the flatbed trailer, the horse trailer … you get the picture. Rural living demands lots of wheels.

But back to the garbage can. Every Friday, a loud chariot driven by the Czar of Garbage drops by to steal our garbage can – at least that seems to be what the dog thinks. So, as much as he hates the wheeled garbage can, he will lie next to it for hours defending it because it’s OURS. When the Garbage Chariot arrives, the dog goes bananas. He barks and jumps and raises a general ruckus, maybe to scare off the chariot, or maybe in dog language he’s telling them, “PLEASE, TAKE THE WHEELS OFF THAT THING!”

Whatever his motivation, after they dump it and put it back in its place, he quiets down. The chariot drives off, leaving him standing there with the despised garbage can and its offensive wheels. He’s triumphant and proud, but somehow still resentful. This is his self-proclaimed weekly assignment, and he has succeeded once again.

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