a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: All's Quiet and Rowdy on the Western Front

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

All's Quiet and Rowdy on the Western Front

After we got home from class, all dogs got their breakfast and ate it cheerfully. Tika and Casey started cavorting in the house, getting Jake revved up with mixed feelings. I chased them outside and the 2 youngsters went out on the lawn to play enthusiastically. First time I've really seen them let loose with each other. (Jake stayed under my desk, licking his paws in a sedate and self-satisfied manner.)

A while later, when the playing revved up again, Jake looked like he wanted to join in but didn't know how. After Tika collapsed in the hallway for a breather, Jake started whining at Casey, wagging his tail, sniffing; Casey tried bouncing into a playful chase once or twice but Jake, as usual, turned half away and seemed annoyed--yeah, like he doesn't know *how* to play. We'll see where this goes. I've never seen Jake play with another dog in all the 5 (?) years I've had him, although his previous foster-mom said he used to play with her other dogs, playing keep-away anyway and leading them on a merry chase.

Later, Tika and Jake goaded Casey into digging around in the greenhouse, where a large shallow planter dish was apparently clogged and not draining, converting its content into mud soup. I don't know what he did in there--digging, I suppose--I saw Jake and Tika standing to either side of him, watching intently, so I gather it was some kind of hazing ritual. Because, when the phone rang just as I was going out to investigate, I was distracted long enough for the little black dog to get smothered with muck. When I hung up, the dogs came charging into the house through the sliding door in the office, across the carpet, up the stairs, into the dining area and around the corner into the kitchen. To my great dismay, Casey was not only leaving huge gloppy muddy footprints across the carpet and floor, but he was so covered with drippy muddy goop, that, when he ran, every step sprayed muddy globules in every direction.

What a cleanup! I hosed him down outside first (another learning experience for the little guy), Jake and Tika (both perfectly clean) grinning at him from the sidelines, and then I wiped him down with a towel. However, by that time Jake decided he didn't like all the attention that I was giving Casey, so he pushed in and a little bit of snarling and a not-quite-fight ensued until I could push Jake away.

What a mess. Sheesh.

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