White Dog and our other Kansas girl, Puff, seemed to be going out of their way to antagonize each other this morning. WD would give a queenly growl every time Still Another White Dog would pass and Puff would prance right up to White Dog and give a single yip in her face. Puff made a point of licking out WD's empty bowl and WD sat in the spot Puff usually favors for post-breakfast naps. Neither listened to Steve's threats of time out and both were totally unrepentant.
I heard the voice of my mother in my head with a solution. I come from a family of six girls, all of us close in age. Mom dealt with this kind of jabbing a lot...especially when the weather was unpleasant or we were bored. Her solution was that the two "jabberwocks" (as she called us when we were in that mode) had to spend ALL day together, side-by-side, no exceptions...and the twosome had to agree on the things they would do or places they would go.
"OK girls," I said, "today just you two get to come with dad and I." We had plans to drop off donatables for a local rescue's thrift store; meet Gregg and Candace for brunch (along with Dragon and Sen-ge); and take a walk along the Bosque. "Should I bring the double leash?" Steve asked. WD and Puff looked at each other in horror. Leashed...TOGETHER????!
We promised the rest of the White Dog Army their own special time and then headed out. The van was packed with boxes so the girls had to sit closer to each other than they would chosen. They waited together in the car while we brunched (there was plenty of room for two little White Dogs to be comfortable together or to rest far apart on the front and back seats). When we returned, WD was curled up on the driver's seat and Puff on mine.
By the time Dragon, Sen-ge, WD, and Puff returned from their Bosque walk on what turned out to be a lovely afternoon, all four pups were walking shoulder to shoulder...mannerly and in good spirits. Back home there was no hip check or leap over another to get in the front door; both girls seemed past their earlier aggression.
Maybe my mom know a bit more than I gave her credit for when I was nine and stuck with my sister at my side for the afternoon. Thanks mom!