Sharing, or Things Our Dogs Do Not Do Well

Our house is littered with dog toys. Balls. Squeaky bones. Squeaky cows. Decapitated reindeer. Dolls suffering intestinal distress because they’ve had their stuffing ripped out. Dragons that no longer honk and are missing wings. Stuffed bears missing eyes and nose. Toys abandoned, toys lost. We’re like the Isle of Misfit Dog Toys, and it somehow never fails that the toy the one dog has is the one the other desperately wants.

Eleanor is mostly to blame here, although I swear that Beatrice taunts her. Eleanor will play with one toy, move onto the next, and is then distraught to find that Beatrice has picked a toy up in her absence. Worse, she has the audacity to have fun with the toy, certainly more than Eleanor herself did. Or at least that is what it seems like to Eleanor.

We will not go into the peanut-butter dog biscuits, dog cookies, dog jerky, Cheerios, or other edible items that can be used to bribe dogs into good behavior. Those effects are short-lived. We generally resort to confiscating toys, storing them on top of the refrigerator until we remember to take them down. Refrigerator purgatory has longer results, namely because we often forget where we put the dragon or the ball until it falls on our head when we open the refrigerator door. One of the two cherubs is undoubtedly underfoot, snaps up the prize, and the cycle begins anew.

I’d forgotten the pains and patience required to get two dogs through puppyhood simultaneously. (Perhaps this is my version of forgetting the pains of childbirth, not remembering what the sainted Muddy and Reba were like at this age. I’m certain they were just as awful, but I’ve blocked those horrors out.) A friend once commented that having a puppy was like having an infant, and I think she is right. I have the consolation of knowing that I can crate my dogs when I leave the house, however, and no one will call protective services. Sometimes I feel like we’re the ones that belong in protective custody. After an hour of monitoring whether or not one needs to go out, refereeing the evening’s Wrestlemania event, and yelling at Eleanor to use her inside voice (oh, the irony), I could use a stiff drink and a cold compress.

A friend arrived yesterday with a gift: a lovely new squishy rabbit with FIVE squeakers. Eleanor and Beatrice love her, but that jury is out on whether Joel and I do.

Meanwhile, plushy rabbit spent the night on top of the refrigerator, enduring nightmares of the gaping maws of Eleanor and Beatrice.

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