There are many ways we might describe Macaroni: an escape artist and
a thief, a loyal friend and a protector of cats. Macaroni was a
stray that came into our lives in the early 90’s. Matt gave her the
name Macaroni after his favorite food. Macaroni was very gentle with
the cats and with Matt and Sara & became best friends with the
neighbor’s Golden Retrievers, Casual and Murphy. We wondered how a
dog with such a lovely personality ended up as a stray. A clearer
picture emerged when we tried to take her to obedience classes and
she tried to fight with every other dog there. Over the years we
figured out that she liked dogs who were associated with people she
knew but any dog by itself or with strangers was fair game to fight
with. It was fortunate that where we live she didn’t encounter too
many unknown dogs. Our theory was tested when we got a miniature
pincher, Hex. Hex is 12 pounds of pure bossiness and would jump at
Mac & steal treats from her, yet Mac never responded.. Hex was
part of our family so Mac put up with her.
Mac, Casual & Murphy had a routine. As soon as the school bus picked
up the kids, the 3 dogs went out into the wheat fields to hunt mice
returning as a muddy mess but with a smile on their faces. We first
discovered that Mac was a thief when dog bowls started showing up in
our yard. She would go through the neighbor’s dog door and steal
food bowls to bring home. Dog dishes bigger than the dog door kept
the food bowls from disappearing but then she found other things to
steal: a single shoe, a piece of clothing, a tool (usually broken);
she never seemed to be very good at bringing home anything that was
useful. She stole so many bones from Casual & Murphy that Scott
started drilling a hole through bones & chained them to a post. He
knew when Mac had visited as the tethered bone was pointed toward
our house. She had a certain place in the yard where she collected
her treasures so if something was missing we knew where to look.
She divided her time between our house and the neighbors, but she
considered us her primary home. As we drove past the neighbors she
would sight the car and run through the fields as fast as she could
& then come running up the driveway to greet us as if to say: “I’ve
been here all day waiting for you.”
Even though she was bossy around other dogs, she never bothered the
cats. Each time we brought home a new cat, she would sniff it, get
her nose slapped and then the cats either ignored her or loved her.
Chester, a large orange tabby was a good friend. Often the 2 of them
would run out together to greet us.
Mac had a fear of cameras. Regular cameras or digital, as soon as
she spotted a camera she got up and ran away. Most of our photos of
her are of her rear end. We never did figure out why she had this
fear and how she knew that what I had in my hand was a camera.
We are sad to say goodbye but we know that Mac is now with Casual
and Murphy at Rainbow bridge, chasing mice and stealing bones.
will always be in our hearts: Matt, Sara, Wayne & Cheryl
Addendum Dec 2006. If you read this story you know Mac was a thief.
She lives on in the heart of Scott & Suzanne's most recent dog,
Jersey who now comes to our house to steal cat food bowls. Fair is