Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Play with me!

The puppy wants to play. The big dogs played hard yesterday, and Max is enjoying a snooze, while Toby rips apart one of the baby’s toys. Oh, the moans, the wails!

Yesterday, we saw one of Cassie’s littermates. I had stepped into a new quilt store looking for a rotary cutter replacement blade. I mentioned the topic currently most dear to me, and the store’s owner asked if she was as nice as the puppy in the fuel service store next door. Why yes, she is. In fact, she is little Harley’s sister.

On the sidewalk, after a few preliminaries, they rekindled the rough-and-tumble puppy play of a few weeks ago—bites and snarls that alarmed Harley’s mom. We retreated before there were too many comments about Cassie’s vicious temperament. How quickly these little dogs will have completely different lives! Cassie is not getting weekly baths, either, although we do attempt to cut toe-nails every two weeks—a battleground in itself, all wiggles and screams.

In my living room, moans and wails have given way to noisy snarls—on Toby’s part—which would be alarming if he meant them. Ah, there’s the problem. He is defending not only the plastic chew toy but also a well-aged, buried-and-dug up bone.

And now it is too quiet—a danger sign with puppies as with small children. Yesterday, I found a well shredded electrical cord dangling from a heavy lamp perched on the very edge of a table. I think I watch her every minute, and yet she managed to squeeze in enough time to do this damage, which—if the cord had been plugged in at the time—would have endangered her life as well. I don’t care about the lamp, but I do care about the puppy.

All three dogs had a big day yesterday. We did a road trip out to the building I manage, so there was a good, long car ride and a romp at the building site. Today the old boys are moving slowly, and won’t they be happy to see the girl put into her crate when it is time for me to go to work?

The photo I wish I could send you: two black dogs, viewed from the back, one large and one small, both squatting for a companionable morning pee.

Yes, Toby squats. Not sure why, but he never learned to lift his leg. Under the heading of why-are-we-having-this-conversation? file this flash of memory of a guy in Prospect Park who aggressively argued with me that Toby must be pooping unattended because he was squatting. Since I had just dropped the morning poop in the trash, I had nothing to show in our defense. And since rationality was not going to work, I could only walk away. Sometimes, there is nothing to be done in the face of mistaken belligerence.

Threats in the form of licking yet another electrical cord—this one plugged into my reading lamp—get my attention at last. Somebody is going to have to play with Cassie. It looks like I am nominated. Well, okay.

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