Monday - May 04, 1998
all puppies, Baxter loved shoes. You might even say that it was a fixation,
or even a fetish. Upon entering our house on that eventful first day, he found
shoes to be irresistible; there were so many "flavours" of shoes that
choosing was difficult. He eventually developed a game out if it, though it
has changed as Baxter matured. His favourite game of shoes always occurs after
our supper. By then he has eaten and napped and is ready for another round with
us, his owners. I usually cook since I work at home, and Ed cleans up. This
means that I finally get to sit down and relax around 7:00 pm, with the hopes
that THE DOG will cozy up to me and we will have a nice half hour of relaxing.
Well I can dream!
Let the Games Begin
After settling into the couch with Baxter for a few minutes, he gets up slowly and casually meanders - plotting all the way of course - to the front vestibule. We live in an old Victorian townhouse, which has a front vestibule separating the front door from the rest of the house. This is where "the shoes dujour" are kept. Baxter has figured out by "whompping" the door with either of his paws or rear end, the door will eventually open, and treasures can be had on the other side. I usually respond quickly by telling him to get out of there and leave the shoes alone - as if that has ever done any good. This is usually followed by my saying:
"Don't make me get up and come in there."
Then there is silence. I hope he has decided to leave well enough alone which he sometimes does - he on the other hand is making his selection. With a few quick steps, he parades his catch in front of me, and we are off.
The Game Plan Changes
After doing his victory lap with the "catch dujour" hanging from his mouth, Baxter dashes under the dining room table and weaves through the chair and table legs like a pro. I knew those agility lessons would pay off eventually. However, on this particular night I am quite tired and decide not to play. As I pass him in the dining room, I say:
"I'll get you and your little shoe too."
and proceed into the kitchen to ignore the dog and chat with Ed. Well, this is not how the game is to be played and drastic action is required on Baxter's behalf.
As I am informing Ed of my plan to ignore the dog and the shoe, we hear a "furrump" in the dining room, followed quickly by a small fuzzy head poking around the doorway into the a small hall which separates the kitchen from the dining room. I comment:
"Just ignore him."
Upping the Ante
Being the ever resourceful Welshie, Baxter disappears back into the dining room.
He has now dropped the shoe in the hall, in full view of us and barks a few times just to make sure we notice. Of course he has this look on his face:
"Hello guys - I have a shoe here - are you not going to do something about."
All said with his tail wildly vibrating.
By now neither Ed nor I can keep a straight face, but will "continue" to try to ignore him.
"FURRUMP" - the shoe is dropped inches from my foot. Just close enough that I think I can get it from Baxter, but far enough away that he will definitely reach it before I can even bend over. Still we ignore him. Baxter promptly picks up the shoe and drops it at Ed's feet. By now both Ed and I are laughing, and I give into the game.
With a single move of my body, Baxter is off with treasure in mouth, and proceeds full speed to the dinette with me in tow. With a few quick moves, he weaves around the table, the bench, and the chairs, back into the kitchen, avoiding the patiently awaiting Ed, through the hall, another weave through the dining room table and chairs, around the table for good measure, then up and across the living room couch, under the coffee table, and finally up onto his chair. There he proudly sits with the shoe hanging from his mouth.
I sternly approach, not sure whether this game is going to go into another round, and come to a stop in front of the chair thereby blocking any escape. With a single command "Give", Baxter relinquishes his prize and settles down on the chair to plot his next escapade. I meanwhile return the shoe to the front hall, close the door, and place a chair in front of it to deny any further access for the night. I know full well that he will momentarily bring me all of his toys for more fun and games before he settles in for the evening. I sit down on the couch "taking comfort" that this game will be played out night after night after night after night, but hopefully with some variation on a theme.
I look over at Baxter serenely lying on his chair. He returns the look with the expression:
"Wasn't that fun - but I am going to nap now so don't bother me."
Welsh terriers - you got to love them - what other choice do you have!