White Dog came into the office and nodded over her shoulder. "You need to have a little Calibration Discussion with Benson," she said. "I have never seen him in such a foul mood. He is growling at all of us. He nipped at Nilla. And Yo doesn't even want to deal with him...YoYoMa's gone out to nap on the front porch instead of sleeping next to his buddy as usual."
"That is odd," I told her. "Benson is our calm and gentle boy. He is usually even patient when one or another of the others is wearing the Crabby Crown. Has any of the Army been picking on him?"
"Not even Sachi, and you know how HE can be."
White Dog laid down next to me on the side of the desk where she is nearly invisible. I called Benson. I heard his tags as he lifted his head but he did not respond to my call. I tried again and he came as far as the hallway but turned and left when the others followed him.
I went into the bedroom and sat on the bed. Just waiting. The others peeked in and then went off to do their own things. I knew Benson would try to find me...that he would feel guilty for not responding to my call...he is like that.
He came slinking in a short time later in submissive mode. "My Sweet Boy, you are not in trouble," I reassured him. "I am worried. You do not seem to be yourself today."
I leaned over and slid one arm under his backside and the other between his front legs to cradle him like a lamb. he rested his head against me. "I am going to pick you up and put you here on the bed next to me," I told him. "Ready?"
I spent a little time just petting Ben-Ben and talking to him. Stormer came in to check on what we were doing; he was met with a low growl. "Hey, Ben, we don't talk to each other like that! He is just concerned. You are safe here next to me. Let's take a look. Do you hurt?"
I felt all up and down his body and squeezed his tummy. All felt "right" and he offered no reaction that would have indicated pain or discomfort. I rolled back his gums and looked; they were a healthy pink. His breath smelled normal. There was nothing stuck deep between his toes. His ears were clear and he actually enjoyed my hand resting on his head. I felt no burrs at joints or under his tail. In other words, every thing seemed OK.
Yet when Zso walked through on her way outside, She, too, earned a growl.
"Why are you mad at every one, Buddy?" He pressed against me. "Is it just a bad day? Help me to understand."
Benson rested his head on my lap and rolled so I could rub his tummy. As I sat and stroked him his eyes got heavy and he soon was asleep. I shifted so I could swing my legs up and lie alongside his softly snoring body. He immediately moved to fit the curve of me.
"Poor Baby Boy," I stroked his head and sides. "Just rest. It is OK to need some alone time and to have an off day. Rest a while and then we will go together into the office. If you would like you can just spend all day at my side and ignore everyone else. But I hope a nap and time out will leave you feeling better."
He licked my arm and sighed...then closed his eyes again.