As of Saturday, DanteÂ has officially joined the family. The cats are in hiding, though Demon did emerge this morning to try to re-assert his claim on his favorite places. Hannah is convinced he has horrible child cooties, and her neuroses have kicked into high gear. She admits he’s fun to play with in the backyard, and she tolerates him for shared barking-at-strangers duties but when those activities are done, she extricates herself with as little fur-to-fur contact as possible.
On his side, he believes Hannah is the adult dog who is supposed to guide and teach him in this strange world. Except she acts more like a cat than a dog. Her toys are best! Her treats are best! He has the manners of a street urchin transplanted from an orphangeÂ so, for the first time, Hannah actually has something to be neurotic about. He DOES want to steal her stuffed animals and play with them! She’s buried her duck in several places this morning, and stood around with it in her mouth whining about how she couldn’t hide it well enough. I helped her hide it under the pillow stuffing in her bed, and she sat on the couch, finally able to relax a little, blissfully ignorant as Dante,not a dumb dog, rooted around in the stuffing and pulled out the duck.
We’re trying to give Dante his own toys, mostly. It’s difficult, not just because he likes Hannah’s toys and because he’s used to any unclaimed toy or chew being fair game (orphanage mentality), but because of Hannah’s neuroses. I got a chewy non-edible bone for him since he’s supposed to go through a chewing phase around now. Lovely hard rubber thing. He was mildly interested in it at the time, but later Hannah stole it, hid it and guarded the spot where she hid it. She did that twice and now seems to have given up on it. But she really hates the idea of sharing anything– she complains when he gets too touchy, when he tries to get in on her treat action, when he gets too close when one of the humans is petting her. She won’t come see us if he’s too close to us. She skulks at least five feet away, but doesn’t want to let him get out of sight.
But outdoors in the backyard and barking at strangers? All the rules change. Even if he is a stupid puppy who barks at his own reflection. Which is really cute– it’s also cute the way he’ll attempt to get involved in any doggish activity he picks up on– even dogs outside or on TV– even when it’s clear he has no idea why it’s going on (or where it is).