"Greg, Shouko dragged home a dead deer."
"Actually, Josh, that's just a deer hide."
"Where did it come from?"
"…I have no idea."
My dog is a monumental, king-sized pain in the ass. But I choose to interpret her craziness as signs of her overwhelming respect for me. (Just like I would choose to describe the relentless beatings I'm tempted to dish out as "petting.")
See, Shouko has an invisible fence with a shock collar. She knows exactly where the boundaries are and she clearly understands the intent. Sometimes though, she just gets the wanderlust really bad and she wouldn't stay in the yard if I strapped a cattle prod to her neck.
When she takes off, she always comes back (because this is where her food is) and she usually brings something with her. I choose to interpret these trinkets as tributes to me, her king.
Hats, gloves, dog chew toys, dead fish, dirty diapers, track spikes, and now, a deer hide. (The track spikes were the only ones I ever managed to repatriate. Fortunately they were pink and there are a limited number of teenage girls in our neighborhood.)
I left the deer hide out at the end of the driveway for a few days before giving up and dumping it in the Hides for Habitat box by Gander Mountain.
The cats respect me in pretty much the same way. They know how much it drives me crazy when I wash laundry and the kids are too lazy to put it away in their drawers. That's why every night, approximately 10-20 minutes after we shut off the last lights, they'll start fetching socks and carrying them to the living room. Then, each night, they'll make a ton of noise, trying to get me to come see the good thing they've done.
You can't buy that kind of respect.