White Dog sniffed the smells coming from the kitchen. "Are those bbq ribs baking in the oven," she asked. "Why do you ask?" I teased knowing that they are one of her favorites. "And oven fried chicken," I added for Ferguson's benefit as that is one of HIS top choices.
At dinnertime, The White Dog Army arrayed itself around Steve's snack tray. They were very polite and showed great manners as he offered up bites of chicken. "Good job," he complimented them. "I like it when everyone waits his turn."
They looked at Candace, who looked at me. "You save bites for your girls," I told her. She had left them out in her space to avoid complicating the new rules. To the WDA I reminded, "Candace cannot give you treats, only dad and I. This will be the rule until I decide differently." Zsofia started to move her lips to complain but heard Steve's nearly silent, "Hush! Do not make it worse."
The pack wheeled further around the room and came to rest in front of me. I waited for them to settle themselves into a civilized configuration and then made them wait a bit longer just to test their understanding and resolve.
As I reached out the first bite of rib meat to YoYoMa there was a slight shuffling closer. When I offered White Dog, at the back of the group, her piece the White Dogs nearly broke rank but caught themselves. I handed out delicious rib bits and lavished praise at the manners being shown.
I was feeling pretty smug that the WDA was getting my point about waiting to be asked and avoiding aggression. Then Bella, my sweet constant sidekick, my Tiny Dancer, hipchecked her way to the edge of the snack tray reared up on two graceful legs, grabbed a bone off of my plate and disappeared under my chair in less time than it took me to type this.
She brought the empty bone out to "trade" for more chicken but snatched it up again before I could push my way through the statue still eskies surrounding me. Zsofia broke ranks and did an end run behind the pack.
Bella conceded the bone to her larger sister who took it and ran out into the yard.
"One step forward, two steps back," White Dog said in an attempt to offer comfort.