White Dog tiptoed past the line of dog toys that lay spaced along the hallway and made her way into the office where the rest of the toy box lay emptied and scattered across CA Stormer's bed. Poor Stormer was scrunched up on a corner of his mattress looking very crowded.
"Don't tell me. Let me guess," White Dog said to both of us. "Opal came through?"
Opal, still mostly transitioning from mill dog breeder to White Dog Army member, has issues with being touched. She still does not allow herself to be leashed for walks. But she likes treats and will line up politely to take hers from my fingers (although not always gently)...and she LOVES chewing toys (among other things).
She discovered the joy of tearng out stuffing by destroying one of the throw pillows on the sofa some time back. We got her a chew toy of her own and she learned that toys, especially ones with squeakies were a whole new level of amazing joy...and that the White Dog Army had an entire basket of toys.
She is determined and rips at the toys with a vigor that we have not witnessed since a much younger nearly feral Puff went to town on squeakers years ago. YoYoMa, our other toy muncher, is a delicate chewer. To watch him take apart a toy requires patience for he is methodical and precise as he attacks like a human eating an ear of sweet corn...tiny little bites continuing down the length of the seam.
White Dog looks at Opal's work and tries to hide her horror. Even as a pup she was tender and gentle with her "babies." The times she tore them or ate off an arm she remorsefully came and asked me to provide proper medical attention by fixing the problems with my sewing needle and thread.
Opal is a different story. The destruction is a whole body workout and bliss. And when she is through, she carries the scraps out to the yard to be eaten or buried. Her obsession runs in spurts, fortunately, or we would be toy shopping every other day.
But no one, not even White Dog can help but smile and give license to this small sign that the once caged breeder with nothing of her own is learning to enjoy the little pleasures.