|Pip a/k/a The Napkin Eater|
Pip does what is called "object guarding. " I learned about object guarding in the first of three dog obedience classes Pip and I attended. How it is supposed to go when Pip has something he should not have is that I say "Give" and he drops whatever it is. Only Pip never quite got the give concept. He got stuck in the run away with whatever it is mode, wrap your little doggie legs around it, growl, bare your teeth, and threaten anyone - even the nice lady who feeds you, walks you, pets you, scratches you behind your ears, and attends three dog obedience classes with you.
Though paper napkins are Pip's chew of choice, he also enjoys paper towels, bathroom tissue, stationery, post notes, grocery lists, and somewhat distressingly, lottery tickets. Nor does he limit his taste to paper - an occasional cotton sock is apparently a grand thing. When a puppy, he set his all time record for object guarding - seventeen hours! Seventeen hours of sitting on his favorite chair with his front legs circling a sock and growling Cujo-style if I came within a radius of five socks. When overcome with the need for sleep, he would plop his body on top of the sock. Admittedly, it was in his puppyhood, but good grief, he went all those hours without, not to be indelicate, relieving himself. He's matured now and mellowed quite a bit - no more threatening growls, just dead center under the dining table with his trophy.
I can't help noticing how forgiving pet owners are when it comes to unacceptable behavior on the part of their pets. I'm amazed at how many people have volunteered that their dog piddles inside the house on a regular basis. This is something Pip never does. He seems to sense instinctively that is something the nice lady would never tolerate. I believe I'm so forgiving about Pip's misconduct because I recognize members of my species often exhibit odd behaviors. I include myself in this group as wanting to write more than I want to eat, sleep, or dance seems somewhat peculiar even to me. As another example, I cite my husband Victor's object collecting, specifically two sub-woofers (whatever on earth a sub-woofer is) and twenty-seven stereo speakers. He has informed me that he is considering purchasing a twenty-eighth speaker, news that is a bone of contention between us. That's my voice growling softly (after all I am a lady), "Don't speak another word to me about speakers!" I don't pretend to understand this compunction to purchase objects that transmit music and I am apparently not the only wife who feels this way as some speakers are advertised as having a high "WAF" or "wife acceptance factor." It's certainly not as if Victor is throwing money around. He's been wearing the same sweatshirts for almost twenty years and if I so much as suggest buying several new ones, he growls softly (after all he is a gentleman), "Who needs a new sweatshirt!" I don't mean to suggest that men collecting stereo speakers is in any way similar to dogs hoarding socks but I do think it is definitely "a male thing." I live in a small but attractive house with, save one, attractive rooms. I like attractive; it's "a female thing." The save one you've probably guessed is my husband's study that looks very like a small warehouse for stereo equipment.
I am wondering why some of us are so understanding when it comes to the behavior of the canine community but find it difficult to tolerate the idiosyncrasies of those we love. Pip posed for the cover of my eBook called The Sirius Interview & Other Short Plays. Consider buying a copy, it will help pay for that 28th speaker.
The Sirius Interview is available at Amazon