Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Long Purple Dog of Contention

A little puppy needs toys, right? Something to occupy his time. Something to stimulate his growing brain. Something to cut his teeth on. Far be it from Thevictorians to deprive a little puppy the necessities of puppydom.

Puppy Jack has been presented with two clear-looking, hard, chew-bones that can be eaten (chicken flavor--hope that's not an ironic mistake), a boneless fur squirrel with a squeaky head, a boneless fur skunk with a squeaky head, and this:

That's a long purple dog. Rubber. It squeaks. It looks angry there, like Uncle Leo with his Magic Marker eyebrows courtesy of Elaine. Here's another view:

See? It's actually smiling. Or showing its teeth in a menacing manner. But on its belly, it says, "LOVED." The perfect toy for Puppy Jack, right? It's a long little dog like him! In our school colors! And it tells him he's loved.

Juno has other ideas.

My sweet, sweet Juno has been quite tolerant of Puppy Jack. After the initial curiosity and butt-sniffing, she has remained rather aloof. There was only that one snarling incident, and it was Jack's fault for jumping on her. Now Juno will stand her ground, wagging her feathery tail, looking at me like, "How could you do this? How much must I endure? Is this going to be permanent? Let's feed the little thing so I can get my Hot Pocket."

Let the record show that Puppy Jack's boneless fur squirrel with a squeaky head disappeared. Let the record further show that any time The Pony had it out in the yard, throwing it for Jack, Juno ran to it first. Oh, her royal highness did not deign to bring it back to the thrower. No sirree, Bob! For a smart dog, Juno is quite ignorant in the sport of fetching. She would simply pick it up, lay down with it, and get up to slink away when Jack came charging at her.

Boneless Fur Squirrel With a Squeaky Head was sometimes left in the yard when Jack got put up. It was draped over Hick's new old fence when it got wet. And then it disappeared. Funny, how Jack was in his pen, and Juno was roaming free, and Hick didn't care one iota where Boneless Fur Squirrel With a Squeaky Head was as long as it wasn't under his mower.

Also missing from Puppy Jack's toy stable: one clear-looking, hard, chew-bone that can be eaten, last seen in the mouth of Juno Thevictorian as she rounded the corner of the porch headed for her house. AND, most recently...Long Purple Rubber Squeaky Dog With Uncle Leo Eyebrows.

Let the long, long record show that Puppy Jack initially showed little interest in Long Purple Rubber Squeaky Dog With Uncle Leo Eyebrows. He preferred Boneless Fur Skunk With a Squeaky Head, his soft toy replacement for the purloined Boneless Fur Squirrel With a Squeaky Head. The Pony would sit beside me on the front porch pew, Puppy Jack between us, squeaking that long purple dog. Jack ignored it. Juno, however, showed an interest.

When we were not paying much attention to her, Juno sidled up and stretched out her muzzle toward the long purple dog on the edge of the pew, like Melman the giraffe in Madagascar stretching out his neck and tongue to grasp the discarded "mint" he found in the men's room. She had that long purple dog in her mouth when I noticed and said, "Juno! NO!"

The Pony took matters into his own hands. He grabbed that long purple dog out of Juno's mouth, clobbered her over the head with it, on the skull, right between her eyes, with a SQUEAK of protest from the long purple dog. I chastised him for it, of course, while Juno slunk away in shame.

"What? It's not hers! She has to learn." Not so violently, I pointed out.

We now store Puppy Jack's toys in a Rubbermaid tub on the front porch, right beside the pew. Shh...it may or may not be the Rubbermaid tub that Puppy Jack slept in INSIDE the homestead the first week we got him, when Hick was safely ensconced in France. Juno can smell the toys in there. She can lean over and see the toys in there. But she can't reach her mouth down in there because her neck would tip that tub over on top of her. Juno is skittish about clunky stuff.

So...a couple mornings ago, Jack decided he liked Long Purple Rubber Squeaky Dog With Uncle Leo Eyebrows. He bit it and squeaked it and shook it and took it under the rocking chair that used to rock Baby Genius (much to Baby Genius's dismay). While The Pony and I were playing tug-o-Boneless Fur Skunk With a Squeaky Head with Jack, the long purple dog disappeared. We were both sure Juno took it.

I sent The Pony on a search of the porch. Juno had not gone into the yard. I instructed him to look in her house, and in the other two doghouses over on the end of the porch by the mini pony/new goat pen. He returned empty-handed.

Let the familiar-with-Pony record show that asking The Pony to find a long purple dog inside a wooden doghouse is akin to asking Helen Keller to inform you of the whereabouts of Waldo.

When I left for town around noon, Juno was slow in coming to see me off at the side porch. And she had sprinkles of cedar shavings or dirt on top of her muzzle. I feared we might have a far-ranging search on our hands for the long purple dog. But no.

Hick found Long Purple Rubber Squeaky Dog With Uncle Leo Eyebrows inside Juno's house right outside the kitchen door the very next morning. While dumping her food into the pan by the laundry room, he heard Juno thumping out of her house to run get her breakfast, and he heard a SQUEAK! There it was. Right inside her house. Caught red-pawed! We put the long purple dog back inside the Rubbermaid tub for safekeeping.

That afternoon, I was getting some corn-on-the-cob ready for our grill. I took it out to the back porch off the kitchen, peeling back the husks, breaking them off at the end. I also had a giant butcher knife, courtesy of Hick's workplace, with which to cut that stalk stub off the bottom of the ears.

I was tossing all this over the porch rail for the wildlife, when Puppy Jack accosted my legs, hopping and stabbing my shins with his nose in an effort to entice me to pick him up. That tactic did not work this time, because I had already washed my hands eleventy-seven times that day. But I DID toss him a cornstalk nubbin.

Never had a pup enjoyed a plant stem more! It was like pupnip to him! He wrassled that stalk-end, and bit it, and pranced around carrying it proudly. I figured it couldn't hurt him much. It was organic, right? I went back inside, leaving Puppy Jack playing with that cornstalk nubbin like a kid Christmas morning playing with a cardboard box.

A few minutes later, I heard The Pony coming around the end of the porch to the kitchen door.

"Oh, Jack!"

I hollered through the door, "I GAVE it to him!" so The Pony wouldn't take it away.

Juno is another story. The corn cob stem was mysteriously absent from the porch this morning.

Puppy Jack and his pick-me-up routine from the front porch today. Yes. I did.


  1. Sweet sweet Juno is needing attention.

    How could you not pick up puppy Jack?

    1. Sweet, sweet Juno sits on my feet and gets attention while Puppy Jack is running around on the porch.

      I DID pick up Puppy Jack. About 50 times that day. Just not while I was getting supper ready.

  2. Those dogs is spoiled rotten!

    1. Yes, but they still don't get to come in the house.

  3. Maybe you're on to discovering a new dog treat. Puppy Jack has such a sweet face. How can he do anything wrong?

    1. Puppy Jack would endorse my new dog treat. I can market it on the counter of my proposed handbasket factory, and Jack could make commercials for national TV. He's quite photogenic. But still a little imp.

  4. The trials and tribulations of puppy ownership!

    1. And today we feed him his worm medicine! On the 14th he gets his second shot. It's like having a toddler.

  5. Poor Juno, she feels left out. Her new little brother has captured your heart and she does not like it one little bit! My pack of dogs act the same way when I come in smelling of other dogs I might pet along the way.

    1. Sweet, sweet Juno needs to put on her big girl panties and not stuff them full of Puppy Jack's toys! She gets a treat when we feed him, and she gets petted when he's on the porch with us.

      There IS that occasional bonk on the head with a squeaky long purple dog, though...