Friday, March 31, 2006

My Pit Bull is a Liar

Imagine - two dogs, one toy. How can Felanie possibly get her way with the King of Selfishness, Dozer? Physically, she doesn't have a chance against Dozer's massive 85 lb. frame. But mentally, she's a heavyweight.

Dozer isn't just selfish. He's really selfish. If Felanie is having fun with a bone, Dozer grabs it from her. If Felanie is drinking out of the water bowl, Dozer shoves past to get a drink. If Fel is sitting at my feet, Dozer squeezes his bulky body between us, usually smashing my feet in the process. If Clark (my husband) is petting Felanie, Dozer will ram his head into Clark's hand with a loud whine. Poor Felanie! As the smaller, older, quieter dog, she sits in Dozer's shadow a lot.

So I was floored by a new trick she recently acquired. How do you get a toy from Dozer? Why, just pretend like something else is way more fun, of course! The other day, Felanie wanted the Kong ball, but Dozer had it. He wasn't playing with it, just holding it in his mouth while half asleep. Fel hovered nearby for a few moments staring at him, but she knew she couldn't physically take the ball. Suddenly, she ran off crazily, found a Galileo Bone, and started playing with it enthusiastically (and noisily) in the dining room. She barked at it, jumped on it, shoved it loudly into the wall, pawed it, and chomped at it.

Dozer immediately perked up and ran over to see what was going on. For a few seconds, he watched Fel shove the Galileo Bone around, chomping on the rubber Kong ball in his mouth. Then, as if coming to some conclusion, he abruptly spit out the Kong ball and gruffly snatched the Galileo Bone from between Fel's paws. Fel grabbed at the Bone and pretended to struggle with Dozer for a moment, but he wrested the Bone away in an instant, and flew into the bedroom with Felanie, barking, in hot pursuit... or so it seemed.

A few moments later, Felanie returned without the Bone. But she wasn't dejected and forlorn; her eyes sparkled as she scanned the floor. There it was! She made a beeline for the rejected Kong Ball. After pouncing on it gleefully, but very quietly, she raced off toward the living room - the opposite direction of the bedroom and out of sight - with the Ball tightly clamped between her teeth. I could hear Dozer playing loudly with the Bone in the bedroom, none the wiser. He was under the impression that he had just won a glorious victory.

Felanie has since pulled the switcheroo not once but many times. Sometimes the trade is about equal (as in the case of Bone for Ball), but I have seen Fel trick Dozer by giving up things as boring as, for instance, access to the water bowl, a piece of string, and a dead fly. In all cases she manages to make the most dull and insignificant objects into fabulous, irresistable items that Dozer simply must have.

Felanie is a liar. A very clever liar.

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