Tino’s Burial Ground
When we first rescued Tino and his brother Bernie, they were sick and emaciated. They had been abandoned at a local park and from the looks of them they had probably been living on the streets for at least a couple of months. To say they loved mealtime was an understatement. Even sick with distemper, they ate voraciously most of the time.
I remember the first time we gave them a treat – it was a pig’s ear and they were flabbergasted – they had no idea what to do with it. They both carried it around in their mouth for a good 5-10 minutes. Bernie finally settled down and started chewing on it, but Tino eventually buried it. He did that with every treat we gave him for months. I know he was saving it for later, even though he never went back and dug any of them up.
Since he had a bad back leg, he had trouble digging and ‘buried’ things by pushing dirt over it with his nose, so none of these treats ever got buried very well. Once he caught on and started eating the treats, he took to burying his toys. Every stuffie he ever got was buried at one point or another throughout the back yard – usually along the fence where there were bushes as that dirt & bark was easier to push around. The behavior never really bothered me – he enjoyed it, I could easily find the toys and resurrect them, so it was never a problem. Well, that is except for the wallet incident, but we won’t go into that.
Even after his leg was repaired, he continued to bury things with his nose. As he got older, he stopped burying his toys and satisfied his urge by just taking his toys out to the backyard (see photo above). I’d let him carry each toy out over the course of a few days, then I’d round them up and bring them in the house and we would start the whole dance again.
A few weeks ago, we got a new gardener and he dug into some areas of the garden that hadn’t been worked on in years. I went out after they left and found this on the patio.
They must have found it while digging in the bushes and put it to the side knowing it was a dog toy…albeit a pretty beat up one. It brought a little tear to my eye remembering our sweet Tino. I love that his legacy lives on in the dirt around our house.