My older dog, Quinn, is white and fluffy and a huge showoff. For years–ten, at least–he’s played a game where he wrestles with is face under a blanket for a minute or two and then pulls the blanket off and smiles. At that point, his well-trained people clap and say “yay!”. So he smiles bigger and then does it again. After a decade of smooth rehearsal, a session of The Blanket Game can last a good (?) ten minutes. Any unannounced visitor to our home will doubtless find at least one blanket carelessly strewn on the floor. As nearly as we can tell, Quinn thinks we enjoy The Blanket Game, so he trots it out to thank us for table scraps or to cheer us up when we feel down. More than one marital argument has been diverted by a timely session of The Blanket Game. We are well-trained indeed. But it does lose its charms after the first ninety seconds or so, and the part of the ritual where we respond with claps and praise can become dull pretty fast.
This morning my husband slunk off to work under a pall of allergies and I was on the upstairs couch trying–mostly in vain–to get comfortable. Stomach trouble has me on a temporary suspension of arthritis meds, so I’m hurting more and sleeping less for the time being. Quinn could tell that it was indeed past time for a round of Blanket Game. I was happy to see it for thirty seconds and then too sore to clap. But then…
Gobie is the new baby, he’s only lived here eleven months. But in that time one of the nicknames he’s earned is “Interrupting Cowmoo” because of his insistance that any hug, kiss, cuddle or other attention include him. He’s small and deft enough to wedge his way between two full-grown adults, and more than able to position himself between an iPhone camera and a mugging older brother. This morning he was REALLY put out by the attention Quinn was getting. That early in the day (6:30am) is when he sits in my lap for a cuddle. Which makes it very little different from late in the day, early in the evening, late in the evening…you get me, right? Gobie is very much about the attention. But The Blanket Game is sacrosanct. So there I was wearily mumbing “yay, Quinn” and doing the half-hearted arthritis clap where I try to make the skin-to-skin noise without the nails-in-bone pain. As much as he tried, Gobie couldn’t make me stop clapping.
So he jumped down and tried to get under the blanket with Quinn. Didn’t work.
He tried to distract Quinn with a wrestling match. Didn’t work.
It was obvious that Gobie was getting much more frustrated and when I started taking pictures he blew a gasket. And I swear to you that he stuck out his scrawny little black paw and pulled the blanket back over Quinn’s face. It was the funniest thing.
Dogs are more like people than anyone ever wants to admit. They’re like six year olds who can’t speak.