By Ralph D. Thomas

I woke up one morning, looked down on the floor at shoes I had left behind before I had crawled in bed the night before and low and behold, the only thing left of them was the soles. Inspector Gadget had chewed and eaten the rest of the leather.

The first trip Inspector Gadget made to the Lake, I took her for a swim from the shoreline. As we got out into deeper water I noticed she could swim very good but she tried to climb on top of my head. I got scares on my hands to prove it. The only time Gadget jumped off the boat into the water herself was one day when I had stopped to look at a new handmade houseboat a friend of mine had built. While looking over the handmade houseboat, I turned to see a black dog swimming up the side of the dock. It was Gadget. She just wanted to be next to her friend.

One time Gadget got mad at me because I would not pay any attention to her as we were watching a movie on TV we had rented. She walked over to the front of the TV, looked directly at me and proceeded to take a leak- the only time she ever went to the bathroom inside the house.

No only would Gadget start barking at the sight of a cat, if you said the word cat, she would start barking. If a human made the meow of a cat, she would run all over the house making sure one was not around. The cat next door, used to come over and place herself in a window on the outside of the front door just to get Gadget all excited. As soon as the door opened, that cat would take off and run up a tree.

Gadget and I were out for a walk one day and I had stopped to talk with a neighbor. When I looked down, she had a bird in her mouth.

Anytime Gadget found something smelly, she proceeded to roll in it to get it all over her. It was then bath time which she didn't like.

Gadget spent a great deal of her time sleeping on top of my feet while I worked on the computer. She was a nice foot warmer.

Gadget had her own seat on our first boat and she didn't like anyone else getting in her seat. She loved to ride in the boat. Gadget was almost always with me when I took the boat out. We spent a great deal of nights together on the boat.

One night, Barbara and I had just gotten home from a Texas BBQ. I had a whole bag of rib bones for the dogs. Barbara told me not to give her too many. I did anyway and she spent the rest of the night throwing up all over the house. I'm the first to admit that I "over feed" her anything she wanted. During our three and four days stays on the boat, Gadget and I often had bacon rapped rib eye steak. She liked her's medium rare. Usually, whatever I eat, she got the same thing too.

Gadget didn't need a collar she was so good at walking she would stay right by my side. We used to go out to the lake and hike about half a mile down this stream with woods on each side. She loved to tramp through the stream. One day, I looked down and she was showing me a huge fish she had caught which she promptly displayed in her mouth.

Gadget learned how to shake hands in about ten minutes and learned to set up. The only thing you could not get her to do was to roll over as she didn't like to get on her back .

Every time it rained, Gadget had to be right next to me. She'd shake and never got used to the sound of rain and thunder.

Gadget always had to be in the same room that I was at night. She would spend maybe half an hour on the bed and then always got down to have her own space. She was always patient when I slept late and never woke me wanting out of the room until I got up.

Gadget loved children and liked playing with them. Some of the neighborhood kids would come to the door and ask to take Gadget for walks and she was always excited to go. Smaller children would pull on her ears and tail and she took it in great stride loving every minute of it. She never snapped at anyone no matter what was done to her unless she through someone was attacking or hurting myself or Barbara.

Gadget liked to lick people and lick them in the face! The first time my father-in-law came over to our house and bent down to look at the bottom of some furniture, Gadget went up to him and gave him her famous face lick. She would want to lick me in the face every time I came home and of course I let her as I liked it as much as she did.

Gadget has this special place in her back yard where she would bury things. Anytime I was looking for something of her's that I could not find, all I had to do was dig in the sand and I usually found it right where she had hide it.

If I had to leave to go somewhere without her, half the time she was looking through the window next to the door when I left and when I came back home she was in about the same spot. Barbara says that when I wasn't home and she was, she'd spend a great deal of time setting at the door waiting for me to get back. When I was gone overnight, she was often kept by my mother. According to her, Gadget usually got depressed if I was gone for more than a day and a night.

Gadget loved to ride in the car. Every time I would put shoes on around the house, she thought we were going to go for a ride. Every time I picked up the car keys, she would get very excited. Even if I went up to the convince store, she would go with me. During the Winter and Fall months as well as early Spring, Gadget could usually go with me anywhere I went and wait in the car if I went inside someplace dogs couldn't go. I often through about putting a pair of sunglasses on and have her come with me pretending to be blind but I never really did it. I don't think she would have passed for a seeing eye dog. During the late Spring and early Summer it would have just been too hot for her to wait in the car so she would have to stay home and I tended to go to less places that didn't allow dogs.

If you threw something, Gadget would always go get it and bring it back to you. We spent countless hours throwing balls in the backyard. She had her own toys which she would sometimes bury in her hiding hole.




Ralph Thomas
National Association Of Investigative Specialists, Inc.