Monday, November 20, 2006

The Accidental Body-slam

Kirby has a whole new respect for Baxter. Every day they wrestle, every day Baxter comes out on top with Kirby on his back, but so far that hasn't stopped Kirby from jumping right back up and asking for more. The experts call the phase Kirby is in right now (14 weeks to 6 months) as the "Toddler Phase" or the "Brat Phase." Kirby has just enough bravado to get into trouble, and not enough common sense to know his limits. Interestingly enough, the tone has changed slightly since yesterday...evidence that toddler time, as challenging as it can be, is also a time of great learning...

Lately Kirby has taken to provoking Baxter whilst out in the yard doing business. Kirby does his usual "jump-up-and-bite-Baxter-on-the-face" move, and Baxter responds in kind by chasing Kirby all over the back yard. Just like in the living room, this usually ends up with Kirby on his back, and is followed by another cork-like "pop-up-and-do-it-again" move. There are slight variations to this, such as Baxter rolling on Kirby and, my personal favorite, Baxter sitting on Kirby's head. Most of the time it's just playful, but when it starts taking on a more menacing fervor, we send them to their corners.

Yesterday Baxter, who is normally a pretty calm guy but who occasionally needs to get his own yayas out by running in circles in the back yard, decided it was his turn to go wild. Without any input from Kirby, Baxter just started running and spinning, changing direction and spinning some more. Kirby managed to get caught in the swirl of things and Baxter accidentally body-slammed the little guy onto the cement patio. My husband was observing at the time (I would have probably panicked) and he said it was clearly an accident. He said Kirby just stayed there a second on the cement, then popped up and didn't seem at all hurt. But from that point forward, Kirby gave Baxter a wider berth.

Last evening, as the dogs started their usual after dinner romp, Kirby jumped at Baxter, but instead of waiting for Baxter to respond, he ran and hid under the couch. Of course, a chase ensued, much like in the yard, but Kirby wasn't quite as bold about his approaches to Baxter. He gave up sooner. It seemed, dare I say (and I don't know how long it will last), that Kirby now has a bit more respect for just how big and strong Baxter is relative to him.

Whether this lesson sticks still remains to be seen.

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