This was written four years ago when we had two dogs... now we have none.
|Now that we have two dogs, we have an underdog. We don't have a top dog... Teena is too dumb for that. Or maybe it is more accurate to say Teena just takes life as it comes, and is totally oblivious to any concept of a hierarchy. But Snook, even in the absence of a top dog, is definitely an underdog. We had seen many instances of his abject submission already. For instance, he will start chewing on some object, and all I have to say is, "Snook!" -- quietly, and not forcefully at all -- and he spits it out of his mouth and lies there as if nothing happened. If I go to pet him, he promptly rolls over on his side for me to scratch his tummy. But the funniest thing I have ever seen -- the clincher, if there had been any doubt as to his position in the hierarchy -- was a week ago Saturday night.
Snook likes to lick the butter off the wrapper, if one happens to be within his reach. I had stuffed one in an ice cream bucket with some other things, inside the back door to be put in the garbage. On my way to bed, I stopped by the kitchen for something, and caught Snook in the act. He had rooted the crumpled up butter wrapper out of the bucket, and had torn it in tiny pieces all over the kitchen floor, in his attempt to get at the butter.
I spoke very mildly, to the effect that he wasn't supposed to do that, but I did not scold him, by my tone or body language. I could tell he knew full well he had done wrong. I petted him. Ian came to the kitchen doorway and surveyed the mess. I told him what had happened. He neither moved from his position nor said a word. All he did was lean against the doorway and squint at Snook with a mock frown on his face and a twinkle in his eye. The result was amazing. The little dog slunk away, tail between his legs, glancing over his shoulder at Ian as he disappeared around the corner into the living room. Well, both Ian and I burst into laughter. We couldn't help it -- it really was funny! Ian tried calling Snook back, but nothin' doin'. No way. I tried calling him and he hesitated and took a step toward me, but changed his mind. Ian had to go to him before he flopped down and rolled over and allowed Big Bad Ian to pet him.