The Love of a Dog for Her Bag

Yeah, I know I said I was going to blog every day this week about what an informationist does, but to be honest, I started reading a really good book and the blogging just didn’t happen.  I will certainly regale the internet with more tales of the research informationist life at some point, but right now I’d like to tell you about Ophelia and her bag.

Some of you reading the blog may be viewers of Ophelia Cam, which is essentially a live webcam of my dog sleeping soundly for nearly the entire 9-10 hours I’m at work every day.  Those of you who view Ophelia Cam may have noticed that my floor is littered with dog bones, toys, and what looks like a large pile of material.  That is actually Ophelia’s bag, and she loves it.

Ophelia and her bag.

Ophelia and her bag.  She normally doesn’t like being in photos, but she was happy to pose with her bag.

Ophelia’s bag is a large tote bag that I sewed for myself before I went to yoga school in the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado.  I needed something that was large enough to hold a yoga mat and various other stuff that I would need to carry around with me, and since I couldn’t find anything that fit the bill to purchase, I designed and made my own.  A few weeks ago I had the bag out to carry something in, and in the middle of cleaning up the house, I set the bag on the floor in the living room.  In that time, Ophelia found the bag and adopted it as her own.

The bag has multiple purposes. One, it is useful as a place to bury things.  Because we are urban, apartment-dwelling folk, Ophelia and I lack a yard.  For a dog with a strong urge to bury things, this has been rough.  Ophelia has destroyed several dog beds and also ripped up a very nice set of sheets in an attempt to bury her bones, evidently not realizing that a bed does not functionally work the same way as, say, a pile of dirt.  However, the bag has proven to be an ideal hiding spot for various and sundry treasures that Ophelia inexplicably feels the need to hide.

Secondly, the bag is like home base for Ophelia during games of catch.  Ophelia is a very smart dog, but I have tried and failed on multiple occasions to teach her how to return a ball to me after I throw it.  She will sit across the room and stare at her ball, barking and chomping at it in frustration, while I implore her to bring it over, yet she just can’t quite get the concept.  However, she has a natural instinct to return the ball to the bag.  Realizing this, I now simply place the bag near me when I went to play catch with her, and our problems are solved.  She drops the ball on the bag, and I can reach down and grab it and our game continues uninterrupted.

The other nice thing about the bag is that when I have to take trips and Ophelia goes to stay with someone else, I can put all her stuff (food, food bowl, toys, blankie, etc) in the bag and take it with us.  We have only traveled once since Ophelia fell in love with her bag, and I was too embarrassed to explain what the bag was for and that it should be laid out on the floor for Ophelia to interact with. 🙂

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