White Dog stepped gingerly over the mess and took her bed in Steve's closet. She sighed a deep and heavy breath. The mattress in front of her was covered in stuffing and shredded rope and lots of torn bits of fabric. I looked at her sympathetically.
The remains were those of One Armed Teddy Bear on a Rope. It was one of White Dog's cherished childhood toys. Her baby teeth and my stuffie ER skills back then saved her Bear from bleeding out. It was all of those years ago he became one armed and he has lived a quiet but happy life in the toy box since, occasionally nibbled at by YoYoMa but for the most part safe and warm with the other playthings outgrown.
One of the most wonderful things to watch as the White Dog Army learns how to incorporate a baby into our pack is that some of our members are for the first times in THEIR lives exploring pup play that they missed out on.
Bella was a breeder mill pup who was pressed into "service" as soon as her body was able. We are certain that she never had opportunities to play with toys or wrestle with other pups. We know that until she was rescued our Beautiful Tiny Dancer had never walked on grass so it is not a far jump to assume her puppyhood was not joyful.
She has in the past several weeks begun to take more of an interest in Zsofia's activities. In fact, they now regularly wrestle together and play "chase" in the yard. She has also watched the baby's fixation on all of the toys in the toybox. Zsofie regularly empties the toys from their holding bin onto the floor in the living room where she can devote time to each...chewing, asking to play fetch, just carrying some around.
Bella has begun to copy this activity. Steve now has to make sure there are no toys hidden under the chair, in Bella's treasure cave, which is close to the heating duct. She and Zso seem to delight in stealing toys back and forth from each other as well.
And that brings us back to One Armed Teddy on a Rope. It was a collaborative work of deconstruction...Bella destroyed the body and pulled out stuffing; Zsofia, lying calmly at Bella's side, gnawed the braided rope that held Bear's torso until it was just bits of red and white string confetti.
White Dog looked at me as Steve gathered up OATBEOAR. I sadly shook my head. This time even momma's ER skills with a needle and thread would not be able to save Teddy. WD followed Steve as he took her childhood friend outside to the trash bin. He let he sniff "goodbye" and then wrapped him in a grocery bag and sent him to be recycled.