I have spent today watching Habibi try to cope with a very serious problem.
I have had a house guest for the last few days. Knowing this is a doggy house, she didn’t bring gifts for me, she brought dog gifts. But it would have been impossible to bring something for each of the pack, so she brought a few lovely huge pieces of rawhide, which could be cut up into smaller chunks and given to the dogs.
There were two dog shows this weekend, one for the Canaans and one for the collies, and this was not Habibi’s turn to go, he is already a champion, and is not really crazy about shows, though he tolerates them for my sake. He does always hate to be left at home when I take other dogs out, though, so in compensation, I gave him one whole huge piece of rawhide, to keep him happy and occupied for the two days of being at home. Also, I have to admit, as compensation for expecting him to put up with an “intruder” in his house.
When we have guests, Habibi has very strict rules. They can come in and sit down, and then he sits between me and them and watches. Should they get up and move around, he will bark at them to inform them that this is not allowed, they have to sit still. This does not work with people who are staying for several days. They do get up and walk around, touch things, take food, go to the bathroom – this is very annoying to Habibi.
And then for me to take this person with me, and other dogs as well…! Hard to forgive!
The rawhide was a high value gift, though, and by the end of the two days, a good portion of it had been chewed up. But now, I was home, and he was not really interested for the moment in chewing. But it could not be left lying around. Maybe another of the dogs would try to steal it…maybe our house guest would try to take it! It had to be hidden!
And here was the dilemma – in the house, there is no proper place to dig and bury treasures!
So he has been pacing around the house with the rawhide in his mouth, whining under his breath in frustration, trying to find a safe place to hide it. He has tried to push it into corners, under the bed, in the bookcase, behind the dog bed…I found it placed carefully on the sofa under the TV blanket. He also gently placed it in the middle of the bed, pressing it down into the soft and resilient quilt, and tried with his nose to cover it with the nonexistent earth. But he is not satisfied with the security of any of these places, and goes back, fetches it, and roams around looking for something better…
So now he is lying in the living room with the rawhide under the coffee table, but within sight, so he can be sure no one touches it.
How hard it is to be responsible for valuable possessions!
Post script: Habibi managed to hide his treasure. I looked all over for it, and couldn’t find it. Finally I asked him, “Habibi, where is your bone?” He went over and showed me – he managed to put it underneath a little wheeled set of drawers in the corner, where there is a knapsack on the floor in front of it. I would never have found it there! Of course, now he feels that he has to hide it again…
Second post script: He has hidden it again. I have no idea where it is, and this time he refuses to tell me…