I haven’t done this in a while, told a dog story. This one is about toys.
A little over four years ago, when Cobie was new to us and Kelly was not yet with us, we threw a shindig. During it, Cobie lost both his chew bones. When neither bone showed up–ever–I kind of suspected the grandspawn had taken them home to share with their remaining puppies, Cobie’s littermates. Then, last year, T-Moth found one of the bones in his workshop, mysteriously lying out in plain sight. I couldn’t let the dogs have it, because it was a puppy-sized bone and, moose that he is, Cobie could easily choke on it now.
A couple of months ago, while searching for something I had lost, T-Moth found the other bone buried deep in the sofa.
I had already replaced the bones, of course. I had purchased two, one for Kelly and one for Cobie, exactly alike, or so I thought, on the assumption that toys can be too small for Cobie’s safety, but nothing is ever too large for Kelly.
Sidebar or, The Story of Kelly and Cobie’s Balls: Kelly kept taking all the tennis balls away from Cobie and stashing them under the sofa so he couldn’t get them. When I found an enormous tennis ball, I bought two of them. It was hilarious watching Kelly trying to unhinge her jaw enough to get ahold of one of those balls. It took her about two days before she managed to chew a flap in the fuzzy covering so she could carry one of those balls around. It looked kind of like she was carrying a bowling bag.
Ok, so two bones, apparently identical, except for some bizarre reason there was one bone they both wanted and from time to time feelings would get hurt over it. Because of the size difference in the dogs, I took to storing both bones on top of the fridge and taking them down sometimes after dinner so I could supervise. I do that with most toys anyway, but I always wished I didn’t have to collect toys just to go to the bathroom lest hostilities erupt while I’m indisposed.
Also, Kelly is a hoarder. She shares food, no problem. And me, grudgingly. But all the toys are belong to her.
Anyhow, the two alike-but-strangely-different bones, plus the found bone made three. And suddenly, Kelly could hoard one and chew one and there was still one left for the Cobester. Peace reigned. I could pee while dogs chewed bones.
But there are other toys, such as the Kong Ballistic Boomerang. I bought one. Teeth were showed and fur bristled. So I bought another. One is blue and the other is purple; we have learned that having things match is pointless. Usually the original one (the purple one) is the preferred toy.
Yesterday it was the blue one.
We had just come back from the vet, where I had hoped Kelly would be cleared for me to remove her donut collar. That was a disappointment; she has to wear it until Sunday. To cheer us all up I decided we could all have a nice play session to take our minds off our troubles, Kelly’s trouble being the collar and Cobie’s trouble being that he’s sure whenever we go to the vet without him that Kelly and I are out having happy swell fun times without him.
So I threw the purple boomerang down the hall–because while Kelly will play fetch anywhere, the big gallumphing moose will only fetch indoors–and Cobie brought it back. I threw the blue one. Both dogs raced after it. Somehow, in spite of her donut collar, Kelly got there first. She snatched up the boomerang and trotted proudly to the chaise part of the sectional, hopped up, and lay down to have a nice gnaw.
Cobie decided the purple toy was suddenly no good. He had to have the blue one, no matter how much I tried to distract him with the purple one, which I squeaked, juggled, and finally threw. He would not be derailed from his desire to possess the blue boomerang. He whined. He stared. He chuffed in her face. He tried to hump her. He WOOFed in her face. She grumbled under her breath and kept gnawing.
“Cobie, play with the other one,” I said, and made an empty throwing gesture. He stared at me. Slowly he turned and headed down the hall. He picked up the purple boomerang. He turned, without enthusiasm. And then, I swear I could see it, the light came on.
His head came up. His tail came up. He pranced down the hall like a Lipizzoner. When he emerged, he tossed! the purple boomerang joyously into the air. He caught it. He squeaked it. He tossed it again. He pranced in circles. He threw it on the floor and pounced on it with both paws…
In short, he pretty much did everything I had done when trying to interest him in the purple boomerang.
He kept it up for a good minute, minute and a half…until Kelly could no longer resist. She abandoned the blue boomerang. There ensued a brief scuffle over the purple one. Not as brief as you’d think. Cobie snarled and tugged and defended. And then he let her have it.
He strolled away, giving a couple of backward glances at where she lay on the floor, now happily biting the purple boomerang. He collected the blue one off the sofa, took it behind the entertainment stand, and lay down it. We obviously couldn’t play fetch anymore, because the Diva Terrier would notice. He heaved a big sigh.
Later, when both dogs were tired of being selfish–well, dogs–we played fetch some more. But only with the purple one. It’s back to the number one toy slot. At least until I get the Wubba out, and there is only one of those.