White Dog, The Other White Dog, and Still Another White Dog shared in the treats of Nuka's birthday earlier this week. Each of the White Dogs received a HUGE beef knee or shin bone, fresh from the butcher!
Birthday Day was great and each pup gnawed and scraped and derived immense pleasure from his or her bone. In fact, WD, Quinn, Puff and of course Nuka, spent most of the evening totally focused on the treasure. (You've seen Nuka's video).
The next day The White Dog Army started switching bones and making sure that the others had not received anything more wonderful than the treat each had gotten. It looked like a macabre graveyard in the living room...a setting for this Weird Waltz of the White Ones as they shifted from bone to bone leaving their mark and tasting the wares.
Yesterday, greed started slipping into our little Paradise as WD, TOWD, AWD and SAWD began playing a game of possession of who could gather and claim the most bones. WD started the game by collecting all four of the gnarled gummy pieces and laid on them. She had no interest in chewing; she just wanted them. When she got up, Puff stealthily crept over and snatched two of the bones and carried them out to the deck. Nuka brought one back in but in the meantime SAWD had managed to steal another from WD's stash. White Dog put her remaining beef knee on our bed where she was certain none of the others would have the audacity to go (she's been right so far).
Quinn is the only White Dog who showed no interest in the increasing competitiveness of this game. By dinner, Puff was Keeper of the three bones in play and had brought them into the hallway where she sat over them and guarded. After mealtime Puff sat and crunched on one of the prizes...seemingly only to antagonize Nuka (WD still had her bone on the bed).
When AWD went into the hallway, she stepped on one of the bones. I do not think she did it intentionally but was rather just clumsily trying to get past SAWD's spread. Puff responded with a low threatening growl. Nuka hip checked her sister out of the way and took steps to continue into the office.
Timid, quiet little Puff responded like she was possessed. She whirled on our deaf one with a snarl (AWD didn't even hear it coming), put her front paws on Nuka's back and grabbed her ruff with her bared teeth. Nuka is a tough girl and was not about to back down so they scuffled for a bit before both slinking off, grumbling. Steve slowly let out his breath. White Dog barked reprimands at both. Quinn headed for the safety of the backyard (he hates confrontation).
This morning the bones silently made their way out to the trash and the girls spent some time searching for them as they muttered accusations. Everyone is living peaceably again, but oddly it is Puff who acts as though she was bested by Nuka, giving her plenty of space at breakfast and walking away of anything AWD expressed interest in.
The group dynamics of this evolving family is fascinating yet I struggle not to put too many human feelings on what the White Dogs are experiencing. Still, I hope that there is no "bad blood" between the sisters and that no permanent emotional scarring has been done.