|Pillow has reached "yesterday's news" status.|
When Mumma throws this away, Blue will
hold it against me.
We have an odd dynamic in our house with respect to “new” things. A new thing is defined as anything that has not existed in the house or car since the beginning of greyhound time. When we’re out and about, it is apparently expected that we will frequently encounter new things and thus, in that context it is OK. If it happens in the safe zone (house or car) luckily for us there seems to be an established protocol for dealing with such horrors.
When a new thing arrives in the safe zone, let’s say for example, a dog bed, it is an object of great concern. One might get close enough to it for a quick sniff and then remove oneself to a safe distance to ponder the smell. If passing by said new object, one gives it a wide berth. You never know if the new object might reach out and bite you. Better safe than sorry as the old adage goes.
After a period of time observing the new thing and with careful consultation amongst the canine residents of the safe zone, someone is elected to investigate more closely. The electee then gets a little closer to the new thing, and, in the case of our example dog bed, would step on it and jump right back off. Electee reports back to group as a whole.
|TSA (Crandall), an inherent cowboy.|
Assuming the electee is not eaten, then the rest of the group will consider it safe enough to also investigate the new thing more thoroughly. After this, the new thing experiences a metamorphosis from scary new object, to coveted object. There follows a running battle to be the one who gets to use the new thing. With our example dog bed, that means a free for all to be the one to lie on the new bed.
There are, as always, exceptions to any rule. Some dogs are inherent cowboys. Grammy’s hound Crandall is this sort. He never met a new thing he didn’t want to stick his head in and see what’s going on. We call him TSA because he insists on inspecting every bag he ever encounters.
Some dogs are Rain Men. For them it’s always boxers and not briefs. Nothing new is acceptable. If you bring in a new thing, it remains suspect for all time. Grammy’s hound Fox, and to some extent Blue are examples of this.
After a period of time (the length of which is a complete mystery to Mumma), the new thing goes from coveted object, to yesterday’s news. Then no one really cares about it and if someone happens to use it, no one gives it a passing thought. That is until you remove it and replace it with something else new. Then it becomes enshrined in memory as that shining golden, most favoritist thing that Mumma took away, ruining lives in the process.
Don’t let anyone tell you that dogs cannot tell time or that they do not know what day of the week it is. In our house, Thursdays are marrow bone days. Generally marrow bones are dispensed at 10:30a. Marrow bone day is the highlight of Bettina’s week. She dances around the house on Thursday mornings and every time I make a move to get up from my desk she scrambles to ensure she is right at my side. Most often she is disappointed because I am going to the bathroom or the kitchen to get a drink of water. Other days of the week, she may accompany me when I get up, but not with the same stalker élan.
When the marrow bones are finally handed out, the kids take their places in the living room. Bettina is always to my right, facing the rear of the house and Blue is always to my left facing the front of the house. Blue gets his bone first since he has seniority. The bones come straight from our freezer so the kids spend the first 10 minutes or so gingerly licking at them and trying to avoid freezing their tongues. As the bones begin to thaw, they get down to work.
|What marrow bone on the bed mumma?|
At around the 15 minute mark, Blue picks up his bone and moves it further away from Bettina and faces away from her. Then at the 20-25 minute mark, he determines that is not enough of a demilitarized zone for him and so brings the bone back to the office where I am. He works on it for a little while lying on the rug back there. Meanwhile Bettina has been steadily gnawing her bone in her original location.
When we hit the 30 minute mark, Blue figures he’s no longer on my radar and he moves with his bone from the rug to one of the beds in the office. Mumma’s rule is that they don’t take the bones on the beds, but I pretend not to see Blue when he does this. I figure at 70ish human years, he’s earned the right to a little comfort.
Shortly after that Bettina arrives on the scene having ravaged her marrow bone. She begins her campaign of intimidation immediately. She lies down on the rug making sure that some part of her is touching the bed that Blue has chosen. Blue will counter this maneuver by turning himself on the bed so as not to be able to see her. Bettina may move to the other bed and stare at him from there or, if possible, reposition herself so Blue
|Soooooo close. I will try using The Force.|
Blue takes his sweet time with his bone. He enjoys gnawing on it slowly. But he’s not very thorough. Usually when he’s done, he’s left some bits on the inside and outside. Bettina knows this and she makes sure to be his shadow until he leaves the bone. Blue will chew on the bone for awhile as she stares him down. Then he tucks the bone in between his front legs and lays down for a nap.
This makes Bettina insane. She won’t risk invading his space to the extent it would require to get in close enough to get that bone. She stares at him for the next hour or so hoping to make him move with the power of her mind. Blue takes a nice long nap at which point he may resume gnawing on his bone.
|I don't see you.|
Eventually he loses interest and gets up to do something else at which point Bettina, who has been coiled like a spring since she came back in the office, swoops in and grabs Blue’s abandoned bone. There are days she’ll bring her bone back to the office and then also get Blue’s bone. She’ll lay on her bed with both bones between her front legs and do her best to chew them both simultaneously while in a prone position.
I have seen Bettina stay focused on Blue’s bone for more than an hour while Blue alternately gnawed and napped. She eventually wears him down though and he moves out to the living room to avoid the everlasting hairy eyeball. If, by chance, Bettina doesn’t bring her bone back to the office when she comes, Blue will appropriate it. His heart isn’t in it though and he generally gives it a few pathetic gnaws and leaves it where he found it.
By mid-day a détente has been reached. Blue doesn’t touch either bone again and Bettina will occasionally throughout the week give one bone or the other a love chomp. Come the next Thursday, new battle lines are drawn and negotiations begin anew.