White Dog intervened in what seemed like the twentieth squabble of the day and said, "Really Army, does it make any sense to be acting like this on the day when momma is baking the Christmas Dog Cookies? You are all kind of shooting yourselves in the paw if you think you are going to get to sample after that kind of behavior. Trust me I KNOW momma!"
I cleared my throat, "You are so right, Little White Dog of My Heart, but please remember your own sage advice. Didn't you pin Puff to the floor over some imagined treat treasure she found by your watching chair? And didn't I hear you scare Bella back under the chair with your growl?"
All day, the White Dog Army had difficulty finding and keeping the Christmas spirit. For most of the morning their moodiness was outward focused...anyone daring to walk, drive, or bicycle down our street was met with a barrage of threats and phone calls received a chorus of howls suited to the cold full moon of a horror movie. I will allow a certain amount of that type of fun; after all it has been cold and they are restless.
But as the afternoon progressed and they began carping at each other, I got annoyed. First, poor Oso was singled out for smack downs from the Big Boys. Granted he was pestering them in his pacing closer and closer but he meant no harm and was irritating but not harmful. Both YoYoMa and Taiko took things a bit to far when they lunged at him and startled him so badly that he fell over. He is a little old man, I told them, and someday each of you will be old and addled and wobbly...you are both mean.
Our sweet Tiny Dancer felt the need to snap and yell at Puff every time she passed the side of my chair (beneath which TWD spends much of her time). Puff antagonized WD by sniffing and posturing in her face. They exchanged mumbled comments thinking that I would not hear. "Girls!" I warned.
Skills practice brought a flurry of pushing others aside to show off. Treats were cancelled after Round One because no one seemed to remember Party Manners. The entire WDA would have been sent to time out except I do not have that many "Timeout" Spots. I chased everypup outside, telling them to burn off a little energy and come back in better moods but half just sat on the deck and the others trotted out for a potty break and in less than 5 minutes all were back inside...after grumbling and shoving to get through the door first.
I know my mother must have had days like this with the six of us, but I lack her perspective of how to deal with the pettiness and sniping. I take a deep breath as Steve helps me take the batches of Pumpkin cookies out of the oven..."Love conquers all," I remind myself and reach out to hug my mischievous babies and hand out samples.