Auntie Laura is the best. First, she gives up a whole day to help you ride home from the shelter, and sits in the back seat with you even though she gets carsick, and doesn’t even care that you’re stinky and farting up the car for three hours.
I wrote that from Bosco’s perspective. Really. I swear.
Last week Auntie Laura gave Bosco a huuuuuuuuuge basket of dog toys. I will admit to being skeptical about his enjoyment potential. I recalled Rop at BARC saying Bosco didn’t understand toys. He was given a toy to come home with, and I’d purchased a few others, hoping to understand what he liked.
He had no reaction to toys – unless you count that he destroyed a fleecey pillow when he was at a doggie hotel, and I consider that to be more about boredom than play. I like to play catch with a ball, but he just doesn’t get how it works – he flings himself in front of the ball, and then gets upset when it hits him. His idea of play is to run around the yard, and then run at me. Only problem is that he doesn’t know how to stop on his own. So he runs into me. I think about Joe Theisman a lot.
So I brought home Laura’s stuffed toys, figuring that they’d sit around untouched for a few weeks, and then I’d get sick of tripping over them and put them away in a closet.
But Bosco surprised me. I set the basket down and waited to see what he’d do. I thought he’d at least get off the sofa to check it out, but instead he just leeeeeeeeaned off the cushion edge to look. Then the faux-fur bonding began.
Bosco’s number one draft pick, a fleecy sheep with red feet, got carried up on the sofa. Within the hour he had his starting lineup. This rotation includes a teddy bear AND a giraffe. Wilfred viewers will understand why that made me more than a little nervous.
Now here’s the thing – I don’t know what dogs are supposed to do with stuffed toys. My beagle had 26 tennis balls, and one stuffed toy that he’d throw into the refrigerator as a diversion to snatch food. My parents’ dog treated stuffed animals as puppies, and she was protectively weird with them. Do male dogs do the fake puppy thing?
Apparently Bosco does. Over the next 24 hours, he picked which toys went upstairs to his bed. And yes, the bear and giraffe are in that group. But it seems he has nurturing on his mind. Since I hadn’t fed them in a week, Bosco decided to take on that responsibility himself.