For Buzz’s entire life he has had the habit of sucking on stuffed animals and kneading like a kitten, while holding the toy in his front paws. I wrote about this peculiarity in my book “Shaping Success.” When Feature was a wee baby she used to suck & knead as well but it was always only on one particular dog bed. Unlike Buzz, who indiscriminately will lay down and suck on any stuffed toy he can find, Feature would only suck on that singular bed. When we packed up our old
house her dog bed was accidentally put into storage. So the then, ten month old, Feature was without a suckie. I just assumed (wrongly) her fetish would transfer to other items the way Buzzy’s sucking did. It did not.
So for the past 19 months Feature’s sucking behaviour was gone, again mistakenly on my part, I thought for good. Last month as I unpacked boxes in the lower level of the new house I absentmindedly threw a couple of dog beds on the floor. Within seconds Feature spied her old fetish friend and immediately laid down to get reacquainted.
Yesterday, on a rare lazy Sunday around the Blenkey-Garrett household John and I were both entertained by the escapades surrounding the highly sought after oral pacifier/dog bed.
I need to preface this story with the fact that we have many dog beds in our living room, but as I left for church I saw Buzzy euphorically basking in a sun ray, enjoying Feature’s thinly padded excuse for a dog bed. Feature, obviously perturbed by the situation paced anxiously hoping to rouse her sleeping brother from her prized possession. Buzz, oblivious to Feature’s anxiety, continued to snore loudly, content with his choice of slumber accessories.
So as the afternoon rolled around, I returned home and while John settled down for his Sunday afternoon NFL football watching ritual, I decided to do some vegan baking. Just imagine John’s excitement . . . not! The moment the words “vegan” or “organic” preface anything edible the man immediately assumes I am trying to poison him and refuses to even nibble on a sample.
By the time I settled next to him on the couch, Feature had reclaimed her precious bed and was happily kneading it with her front paws as she gave the fleecy fibre the once over with her mouth. Yes it is rather disgusting, yes she absolutely soaks the bed. Yuck!
But that was not the end of our amusement because DeCaff, like any self righteous terrier who doesn’t just think she owns the world but actually knows she does (and everything in it), decides that she should take up residency on the bed.
Rather than entering a lopsided battle with a dog three times her weight, DeCaff turns her back on Feature and just plunks herself down on the bed Feature is sucking on and falls asleep.
Feature was beside herself and immediately stood, detaching herself from the pacifier. Eventually, when she could take it no longer, she gingerly lays back down next to DeCaff and the precious bed. However she just layed there staring daggers at me. Earnestly she tried in vain to solicit my help.
Just look at the expression on her face in this photo. She reminds me of Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man” but rather than rocking back and forth autistically declaring “hot water burn baby . . . hot water burn baby” she was appealing to me with protesting eyes that seem to be screaming “White terrier – not belong! White terrier – not belong!”
So with no sign of back up from me, like a junkie jones for a fix, Feature decided to brave it all on her own and delicately put her mouth back on the bed. At first she did just a little sucking. She seemed hesitant to add the complementing paw-kneading until she had evaluated the effects of her actions on the dozing saber-toothed terrier at the other end of her bed. Once she was assured of her own safety, she happily added the front paw maneuver to complete her blissful routine.
How lucky for everyone that Buzz’s leisure reclining first thing in the morning inspired me to pull out the camera and leave it out so I could capture all of the afternoon’s shenanigans.
John and I laughed out loud more than once. At one point Feature actually tried to dump DeCaff off the bed by dragging it around the room. DeCaff contined to lay on the bed while spitting out blood-curdling growls of protest as if to let Feature know she had not put in any “move-orders” with her minions. It was all just a crack up.
Encore had to declare her independence from such frivolousness by generating her own fun throughout the afternoon.
She has the great ability to create her own games on her own terms. Kind of like MacGyver with a shoe lace and some bubble gum, Encore can create fun anytime, anywhere with or without a person or a toy in sight.
The vegan cookies where awesome by the way.
My conclusions by the end of the afternoon was that it was time we bought some new dog beds (of course I will let Feature keep her current one:)).
I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me to write an entire blog about sucking without a single porn-like reference.
Today I am grateful for the entertainment value of owning dogs.