We all begin to adjust to our “new arrival” in our own individual ways. In the aftermath of the festive season there is a more than usual amount of messiness around. I warn everyone that things left about are likely to be chewed, or if they’re very unlucky, eaten. As usual, no-one pays any heed. I list a lengthy record of similar occurrences that they have each directly experienced with other people’s dogs in the recent and not so recent past. My list and the repeats of my list, sound like my own silent solo. A scratched record.
I prepare mentally for the first casualty. Which child victim? Which precious toy? I don’t need to wait long.
I gallop at the first scream of agony.
In the family room I find my son knelt on the floor before the dog with his hands under his muzzle, “dwop it “Fatcher!”
“Use a firm voice dear,” I encourage.
“Dwop it Fatcher!”
“Maybe he doesn’t recognise his name? You could try the ‘th‘ sound?”
“Dwop it f f th thatcher!”
Thatcher reluctantly drops the package of sharp plastic corners, part of a prized Christmas present. He slips the packet into the back of his pyjama bottoms, out of sight, so that both hands are free to pet and praise the dog for his amazing feat of obedience. Perfectly sequenced steps. Seamless ideation. We chorus good dog. My son chortles deliciously as Thatcher licks his ears and neck. He expresses no concern or anger at the ruined toy.
“He dun bin choke on dat bad fing!”
His sole concern is the welfare of the dog.
Several lessons learned.
Below is a picture of yet more advanced social skills. My son and Thatcher curl up for a cat nap, which may not be of any great significance. Only the real baby sleeps. However, if I also consider the fact that this is 15 minutes into the sacred ‘electronics’ time, half way through his precious half an hour, then this would seem infinitely preferable and maybe a teeny tiny bit admirable, but there, I’m letting my bias show.
As his little brother said:-
“Finally! Someone who likes fire hydrants as much as me.”
It’s probably a Garfield quote.