Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Bone Of Contention

When I buy rawhide chews I only buy two because only Bert and Lucas do any chewing. Sam isn’t interested in playing with his food.  Sam chews to feed or to kill, but Sam is still thrilled when I bring home the treats.  I buy the biggest chews I can find, and as I unwrap them from the plastic covering all three dogs sit enraptured. This is an event for all three. Bert gets the first rawhide chew and he is downright polite in taking it. Bert takes the chew to the blanket in the bedroom and Lucas sits still, nothing but his tailing moving. Lucas likes the chews. His tail sweeps back and forth like a pendulum on meth during an earthquake. He gets the second one and heads over to the computer room. That leaves Sam and me. I always sit down with Sam after the chews are handed out, and Sam gets what he really likes above all things; one on one attention, undivided and uninterrupted. Sam gets pettings on a dog’s head and he gets the two ears at the same time rub that causes the Happy Hound Sound to come from his head.
Bert isn’t strong enough to put a dent in a whole chew, at least the big ones, but he tries. Bert is now fully into his dotage and he knows it. He’ll gnaw the end of the rawhide but he has old dog teeth and his mouth doesn’t work as well as it once did. But do not despair! Lucas is a mutt on a mission and he truly believes the one with the most toys wins.  Sooner or later, Bert is going to struggle to his feet and give up on the chew. As soon as this happens, Lucas bolts in and steals the chew from Bert.

It seems to be complicated. Lucas will not steal from Bert as long as Bert is watching. It’s against the rules to take something out of someone else’s mouth, apparently. Oh, yeah, I might have had a little to do with that by making sure no one eats out of anyone else’s food bowl. There are four of us and everyone eats in one spot and one spot only. The Mike Will Yell at You For Poaching Rule extends ownership via immediate proximity of chews, apparently, and there is something else about all of this that is equally odd.

For the better part of a decade neither Bert nor Sam raised an eyebrow at a rawhide chew toy. I ran over one in the yard with a mower once, and it had been there since Lassie was pulling children out of post holes. I understood when Lucas arrived why Sam still didn’t give a damn about chews, but suddenly, Bert was all like Mr. Give Me A Rawhide Chew! This was all well and good when Lucas was a small thing, or at least smaller than he is right now, but one day I bought a four pack of medium chews and three of them were gone before Bert got his one started good. I went with the biggest and badest chew I could find, and at the most, I get two days out of the two of them.

So Bert has gotten up from his blanket and abandoned his chew. Lucas rushes into the bedroom, steals the chew, and holds his head up high as he runs through the house with the stolen goods. “Mine! ALL MINE!” his body posture screams, and his tail bounces around like a BB in a metal can. He is the BB Butt Boy. But as funny as Lucas’ tail might be the other end of Lucas is the business end, and you might want to take notice of this when you think about stealing a chew from Lucas.

The dog has jaws.

Lucas can bite down on a large chew and crack it. In a few moments he can have one end totally off. He lies there and he sounded like he’s chewing through a wooden beam. Whatever else might be in that Weimaraner body, the jaws belong to some breed of dog that has some real and serious power. Lucas, at least in all things chewable, has some pit bull in him. He is the Pit Headed Boy. But he’s dealing with a master of all things canine, and Bert isn’t quite ready to surrender his place in the pack yet.

The rules are simple; if the toy was given to you in the house then the toy stays in the house. Toys found or killed outside stay outside. No one takes chews outside, okay? So Bert heads out to the woods, Lucas bounds out ahead of him, proving to Bert that he, Lucas, is much faster and stronger, and Bert just watches all of this and turns around and goes back to the house. He’ll stand at the door, I’ll let him in, and he’ll go get one of the pieces of a chew that Lucas has mauled and chew on that for a while. Lucas comes in, and I have always been fascinated by how he remembers where he left his toys, and he will realize a piece is missing. But the rules…

Another game is “Don’t Dare Dad”. If a Pit Headed BB Butt Boy comes running over to show me he has a toy in his mouth and I can’t get it then I try to take it from him. If he gets away from me, he keeps the toy. But if I catch him and take it away from him, Bert gets it. Oh, you should see the look on this face when Bert has the last knob of chew toy because Lucas wanted to show it off and it got took!

There is something comforting about listening to two dogs in a house chewing as if they’re giant termites. I like the sound of happy dogs. Sam likes the idea there will be pettings on a dog’s head while this happens. Peace, as used as a relative term, descends, at least until someone tries to steal a chew toy.

Take Care,


  1. They may evolve, but there will always be rules. That's why it's good to be the King.

    Aside, my friend the dogcatcher told me watch out for imported rawhide or pig's ear chews. They may come from a country where the source animals are loaded chemicals

  2. Note to self: Buy lots of chew toys.

    1. Okay, something else to note: When Lucas is running with a large chew, and it sticks out from the sides of his mouth, think: Ben Hur Chariot scene, and watch your knees.

    2. Second note to self: Buy knee pads and chew toys NOT imported.