Actually, there was a story I remember about my first Thanksgiving after I moved to NJ. On the evening after Thanksgiving dinner, I was sitting in the living room watching TV, what I can’t recall. During my TV viewing, I heard a continuous banging sound ‘bing bing bing’ for a minute or two. It sounded like a little bell was going off—repeatedly. At the time this noise sounded, I didn’t think much of it. However about 5 minutes later, my mom yells out “Andy ate the pecan pie.” I went to the counter where the pie’s remains lay and saw a hollowed out pie with nothing left in the middle and only the crust along the rim of the pie pan. My mom or I didn’t catch Andy in the act. We only had circumstantial evidence.
For those whose knowledge of law comes from pop culture from shows or movies such as Ally McBeal or Legally Blonde, circumstantial evidence is treated like a dirty word, a sneaky trick by the DA to circumvent the rules in convicting otherwise fine and upstanding citizens. But let me say this, suppose one were in Buffalo on a winter’s night and before one went to sleep, there was no snow on the ground. However when one woke up the next day which was sunny and saw that there was 2 ft of snow on the ground, that is strong circumstantial evidence that it had in indeed snowed in Buffalo the night before even though one didn’t “see” it snowing.
And so it was with Pandy Please. We didn’t catch him in the act. Possibly one of the other dogs could have stood on its hind legs and poached the food. Hell, for all we knew, maybe even a family member ate the pie straight from the pan and was ringing a bell while doing so. This is when circumstantial evidence comes into play. When we saw Andy soon after, Andy was licking his lips trying to clean his mouth of all that sweet molasses goodness that got on him. We could also rule out a family member eating the pie because of the binging noise. Andy’s identity tag, a round metal medallion, kept banging against the glass pie pan making that noise for a few minutes. We found the culprit; all that was needed now was a spanking. I thought Andy eating the pecan pie to be so cute that I wanted to squeeze the shit out of him. But for the sake of discipline, I had to punish him. This would be one of the few times Andy would take food from the counter. His willingness to please and his lack of being headstrong made Andy easy to train. He really wanted to be a good boy.
I will admit that when one gives a dog ‘people food’, it makes it hard to teach the dog where and when they can have people food--what is off limits and what isn’t. In their canine eyes, once they know they are allowed to have people food, any of such food that they can reach is fair game. It’s not obviously. They have to know their boundaries making it difficult for people like me who have no dog training experience to teach them as such.