A butcher is very busy working at the meat counter when he notices a dog in his shop. He shoos him away, but the dog returns a while later. He walks over to the dog and sees that he has a note in his mouth. He takes the note and reads it, "Can I please have 12 sausages and a leg of lamb. The dog has money in his mouth as well."
The butcher looks in the dog's mouth and, sure enough, there's a ten dollar bill. He takes the money, puts the sausages and lamb in a bag, and places it in the dog's mouth. The butcher is very impressed, and since it's closing time, he decides to close up shop and follow the dog. So, off he goes.
The dog walks down the street and comes to a crossing. He puts the bag down, jumps up and presses the crossing button. Then he waits patiently, bag in mouth, for the lights to change. They do, and he walks across the road, with the butcher following him.
The dog then comes to a bus stop and starts looking at the timetable. The butcher is in awe at this stage. The dog checks the times and sits on one of the seats to wait for the bus. A few minutes later, a bus comes along. The dog walks to the front of the bus, looks at the number, and goes back to his seat. Another bus comes. Again the dog goes and looks at the number, notices it's the right bus, and climbs on.
The butcher, by now open-mouthed, follows him onto the bus. The bus travels through the town and out to the suburbs. Eventually, the dog gets up and moves to the front of the bus. Standing on his hind legs, he pushes the button to stop the bus. The dog gets off the bus, groceries still in his mouth, and the butcher still following.
They proceed down the road until the dog turns up the path to a house. He walks up the path and drops the groceries on the step. He then walks back down the path, takes a big run, and throws himself -whap!- against the door. He goes back down the path, takes another run, and throws himself -whap!- against the door again.
There's no answer at the door, so the dog goes back down the path, jumps up on a narrow wall, and walks along the perimeter of the garden. He gets to a window and bangs his head against it several times. He walks back, jumps off the wall, and waits at the door. The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door and starts yelling and screaming at the dog.
The butcher quickly runs up and stops the guy. "What in the world are you doing? This dog is an absolute genius. He could be on TV, for goodness sake!" The guy glares at the butcher and says, "Genius, my eye! This is the second time this week that he's forgotten his key!"*
Like this poor dog, I have spent a lot of time delivering messages and earning my keep with my mouth! So much so that, it now appears, I may just have worn it out! Seriously, I did have to have some mouth surgery early Monday morning of this week. The reason? Like many people, I suffer from what is called “Bruxism”, where I grind my teeth at night. I guess it is how I handle stress.
In any event, as a result, I have now worn my teeth down prematurely, and will need to have some dental work in order to repair all the damage I have done. Before that can happen, however, I needed to have some gum surgery, as my teeth grinding has also affected my gums, making them separate from my teeth. In short, the gum line needed straightening before the teeth themselves could be repaired. Not to be gross, but that meant taking grafts from the roof of my mouth and then stitching them in along the gum line.
Needless to say, because of this, I am now spending a few days convalescing. I can function in pretty much every way except for smiling, talking, and/or eating! But this too shall pass. In the meantime, I appreciate your prayers. I should be back in the proverbial saddle in about a week - provided, that is, I can manage to keep my mouth shut for a few days!
*SOURCE: This classic joke is available widely on the internet. One such site is: http://petbehavior.org/fun-stuff/jokes/.