Logan the Lab and His Laser Pointer

Logan oven
Logan Loves the Oven
Eric Weissleder

I would really like to blame my mother-in-law for this one. After all it was she who gave me the laser pointer as a gift. But it was I, unfortunately, who decided to see if Logan, my adopted Labrador, appreciated it.

When Logan first came into our home, we noticed that he had a mild obsession with lights and shadows. This is not uncommon; many dogs chase shadows, or stare at reflections. It can only become a serious problem if not addressed. In Logan’s case, he would often affix his gaze upon a wall or ceiling, mesmerized by the reflections caused by a wristwatch, a sunbeam, or in some cases, a glass of water. There were times when I’d walk into the kitchen to find him staring astutely at the ceiling as if there was a leak that needed repairing. In most cases, all I needed to do was remove or eliminate the light source and he’d be back to his old self. There were, however, times when it became necessary to ask everyone in Logan’s immediate vicinity to remove anything on their person that lit up, shimmered, or reflected in order to prevent him from thrusting his nose repeatedly into a wall in pursuit of the elusive reflection.

Thankfully, Logan eventually grew out of staring at reflections and lights. He had graduated to staring at the oven, which, although slightly bizarre, actually made a little more sense. It was around that time that I received the aforementioned laser pointer. Considering Logan’s past with lights, shadows, and reflections, you would probably think that I would have had the presence of mind to refrain from bringing it anywhere near him. Well, you would be wrong. For the record, I didn’t point it at him nor did I tease him with it. I merely turned it on facing the floor. Apparently, Logan was still into lights.

How he saw that little red dot from halfway across the room is beyond me. But he was across the room in the time it took to depress and release that switch. He pinpointed the exact spot where it has been and stopped like a pointer. A laser pointer. I knew then that I needed to figure out a way to turn this into a positive.

The solution came to me a few nights later. I had let Logan out for a quick minute before bed. The minute turned into several, then several more. As I stood on the front porch staring into the inky blackness futilely clapping my hands and whistling, I had an idea. I ducked inside and grabbed the laser pointer and trained it across the trees and around the yard. I immediately heard the distinctive clinking of his dog tags in the distance. This was followed by the sound of paws thumping along the grass like something out of a spaghetti western. He was on the red dot and tracked it all the way in as I directed the beam straight back into the mudroom. He didn’t stop running until he was well into the house.

I clicked off the pointer, took off Logan’s collar, and watched as he trotted into the living room and plopped onto his bed. I guess I owe my mother-in-law a thank-you note.

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