Today was the first snowy day of the 2016-2017 winter and I’ve been doing a lot of stairs.
For some reason — I must have been tired, distracted, having a brain glitch. Something was definitely off-center because I decided Bonnie and Gibbs needed toys. We didn’t have toys when Bishop was here because he gutted them. It took him mere seconds to totally disassemble a stuffed critter and distribute its innards from hither to yon.
Bonnie and Gibbs are gentle with stuff. Gibbs has displayed enthusiasm for anything fuzzy and soft he can get his jaws around. He had a deprived puppyhood. So I bought toys. A fuzzy doggy and a plush hedgehog, both with squeakers. The hedgehog grunts, really. The dog squeaks.
They loved their new toys. Grabbed them and galloped around squeaking and grunting, eventually stashing them in the crate or between the sofa cushions. All was well here in Happy Town.
I had forgotten about the doggy door.
“Where are the toys?” I asked Gibbs, then Bonnie. And finally, Garry as he might actually answer me.
“I think they must have dragged them outside.”
That has been the fate of many things over the years. Mop heads and dish towels and dozens of pairs of my socks. Slippers. Shoes. Balls. Anything small enough for a dog to carry in mouth and take through the door. It’s a pretty big door because we’ve had some pretty big dogs. Bigger than Bonnie and Gibbs need, but it’s the door we’ve got.
I went outside and retrieved the stuffies. It was dry, so no harm done. Dusted off the leaves. Put the them back on the sofa. Apparently thrilled to see them, they did their happy dance and when I saw Gibbs heading for the door, hedgehog in jaws, I cried “No, Gibbs, no … drop it.” He did drop it and went on his way out the door.
The next time I looked, the little dog was missing. I went outside and found two little stuffed dogs — I’d forgotten about the other one and wondered how long it had been out there — and brought both of them inside. When next I looked, everything was gone again.
Garry went out this time. Hedgehog was right on the stoop. The little dog (the other one had vanished (again) … (maybe we’ll see it next spring) was harder to retrieve, but he did it. He gave them back to the dogs and they zoomed around the house like mad things. Which is when I realized we had a new game. They take the toys out through the door, and hide them. Then, we retrieve them. They really like this game. It’s even better than the “begging for treats” game.
I have retrieved the two toys twice today. Garry’s gone out for them another few times, and between last night and today, we’ve been getting a lot more exercise than usual. I brought them both back inside not long ago and was only just able to intercept Gibbs as he was hitting the stairs with hedgehog,
“This is ridiculous,” Garry said. “I’m not going to do this 100 times a day, you know.” I agreed it was ridiculous, then went outside to get the hedgehog and the little dog because while we were talking, Gibbs and Bonnie had snuck past us and hit the doggy door at supersonic speed.
As of this moment, I’m not sure where the toys are, but I’m tired. What is the meaning of vanished? Two stuffed dog toys small enough to go through a large doggy door. And one grunting hedgehog.
How big will the toys have to be to keep them inside? I’ve ordered a really big squirrel and rabbit. I guess I’ll find out.