White Dog and I walked into the bedroom to find Opal curled gently around Puff on her bed. She looked up a little guiltily and I noticed that Puff's furs were wet. Opal took one more lick down her sister's right flank before rising and scooting over near the dog door...ready to run outside if she was in trouble.
I wrinkled my forehead in trying to decipher what had been going on. I surely did not want Opal annoying poor Puff who was unable to move away or set a boundary. But it did not feel like that was the case.
It felt like we had interrupted Opal in an act of tender kindness but one that Opal was not sure would be appreciated or understood.
White Dog sniffed the bed Puff was lying upon and then her sister. She came over and hopped up on the bed with me. Opal watched us cautiously from the dog door. White Dog quietly said, "I think Opal was grooming ants from Puff's coat. The horrible little pests are all over her."
I pulled Puff's mat over to the bed's edge and lifted her into my arms. There were ants everywhere...on her furs...on her blankets...and now escaping up my arms. I squished them as quickly as I saw them running and gently stroked Puff to push the nasties where they could face my wrath without hurting her.
"You disrespect my Little Girl," I growled at them. "Now you must pay." I smashed a few more before leaving Puff on our bed in White Dog's care while I went for the peppermint spray to blast her bedding and to spray onto a cloth to gently wipe down Puff.
Opal watched us.
After we addressed the ants, I offered Puff a long drink of water and then unscrewed the treat jar. Puff gobbled down two cookies and White Dog one. I heard the others begin to sense that somewhere in the house treats were available. Before the blizzard, I held out cookies to Opal.
"Sweet Girl, you were so kind to try to help Puff and get rid of the ants," I told her. "I am very proud of you. Here are some extra treats that you have earned. Eat them before the others come in. And Opal? thank you."
She grabbed the cookies, turned to look at me and smle, then was out of the dog door.