August 1st, 2017
Bailey and I have found refuge from black flies and warm temperatures in the garage. It stopped being my husband’s “man cave” as of the beginning of July. Instead, the garage has been transformed into Bailey’s own private paradise of cool concrete, a big bucket of refreshing water that is continually replenished, an assortment of balls as well as pull toys, and a supply of tantalizing treats. No bug spray or air conditioning is needed. But, what is paradise without a friend to share in its offerings. Bailey and her fur buddy, Cas, have a short walk together every afternoon followed by a garage play date. The two pals would happily skip the walk and go directly to the garage if it were not for their owners. Once there though, Bailey and Cas can barely tolerate standing still while their leashes and collars are removed. Then, the real fun begins.
They chase one another around the confined space while tugging on each other’s fur, tails, ears and droopy jowls in Bailey’s case. The two of them frequently run in a circular pattern as they hold on dearly to the body part of the other one. Before long, one of them is rolling on the floor while the other climbs aboard (that would be Cas) or looms over top (this one would be Bailey). Cas has never been intimidated by Bailey’s large size. He uses his front paws like a light weight boxer against his heavier opponent. Cas is quicker and uses his speed to full advantage. When Bailey is on the ground with four paws flailing in the air, he manages to straddle her chest. Cas has developed a technique that allows him to pin Bailey down by placing his front legs on both sides of her head. Then, the weight of his body on her chest immobilizes Bailey. She tries her best to squirm out from under him, getting frustrated in the process. Eventually, Bailey does escape. It is Cas who becomes the hunted. Bailey directs him with her huge paws until she succeeds at flipping him onto his back. She likes to grab him by his fur and drag him around. Cas will give a little whine when Bailey gets carried away. I think she believes Cas is a real living “Stuffie” that can be shaken. Anyway, my friend and I remind her to play gently. If necessary, both of them are given a rest as they quench their thirst at the water bowl.
Recently, the two of them have discovered the joy of playing tug-a-war with Bailey’s rope toy. It was designed and made by my eldest son using knots learned at sea cadets. A monkey knot creates a ball at one end and the other end has a handle to pull on. The two ends are linked by a series of cobra knots. Bailey prefers the ball to hold onto while Cas likes the handle. Now, it is Cas who gets frustrated when he cannot pull Bailey towards him. His only hope is to wait until she is readjusting her grip and pull when the rope slackens. The winner struts around the garage while whipping the rope back and forth. They keep us amused with their antics. These afternoons in the garage have become our sanctuary from the black flies and hot, humid temperatures. Every pooch needs a dog cave to share with their pals.