Sunday, January 06, 2013

Blessed are the Squeakmakers

It often takes me a couple of days to finish a blog post, mostly because I'm spending most of my non-work time playing with Remy. (What a joyful way to put off getting anything done around the house!) Well, I'd been working on the previous post about Remy and Kirby and their almost non-stop wrestling when, yesterday morning, they had a rare moment of togetherness without any wrestling happening at all. Then it happened again yesterday evening after I had just spent time on the Griffology Facebook page engaging with other Griff owners for advice. Lo and behold, detente was achieved yet again this morning. Could it be that the act of committing something to Internet-published verbiage changes the behavior just to make my posts out of date?!? Whatever it is, I'll take it as a sign to keep on writing.

The latest truce happened, somewhat surprisingly, over some squeaky toys. Yesterday afternoon, a friend came over to meet Remy and she brought a couple of rubber squeaky toys as gifts, a little one for Kirby and a big one for Remy. Both dogs loved their squeakies and immediately launched into fits of running around and squeaking that made human conversation a tad challenging, but we all were so happy that they were happy, we just proceeded to yell over tea.

After a while, Kirby decided to take his squeaker toy upstairs to hide it (Kirby now asks to go upstairs). Later that afternoon Kirby brought his toy back down the stairs and deposited it just inside his side of the gate at the bottom of the stairs...right out of Remy's reach. Remy spent a long time -- as in at least 15 minutes -- reaching through the gate with his paws to try to get that little squeaky toy out. I'm shocked at the degree of focus he has for a 14-week-old puppy. Eventually we moved on to something else.

After dinner and Remy's evening nap in the crate (during which time Kirby, Jamie and I settled in for a movie) we let Remy out for another play session. This time Kirby was on the sofa with the big squeaker and Remy was on the floor. Remy immediately found the little squeaker and went about chomping on it, much to Kirby's chagrin. Despite having a perfectly good squeaky toy himself, Kirby could not stop obsessing over the fact that Remy had the little squeaker.

I'm not sure what prompted this behavior -- whether it was an act of Griffy kindness or just a random act of play -- but Remy looked up at Kirby staring down at him, then brought over the little squeaker, put his front legs up on the couch and deposited the little toy in front of Kirby. He then licked Kirby's chin and looked at Kirby sweetly. Was this a peace offering?  Kirby just sat there looking at the toy, then looking at Remy. I wasn't sure if Kirby was in a state of total dismay, if he was basking in his moment of superiority or if he was just happy to now have possession of his preferred squeaker. Remy waited a few moments, then gingerly slipped the big squeaker toy off the couch and took it over to the rug to play with it. I've never before considered that peace might sound like rubber squeaky toys, but, apparently, sometimes it does.

Kirby and Remy have had a couple of wrestling matches since, but much to my surprise and delight, the truce thing happened again this morning, when there was just one squeaker toy between the two dogs. Kirby, who is prone to resource-guarding at times, didn't even growl when Remy came over. And Remy, to his credit, didn't make a mad dodge for Kirby's toy. He just stood there, tail wagging, staring at his little big brother. Kirby started wagging his tail, then proceeded to sniff Remy from nose to tail. Once they finished sniffing each other, Kirby calmly picked up the little toy and asked to go upstairs. And that was that. Remy's now running around the living room by himself, squeaking his toy with joyful abandon.

Life is good.

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