Friday, December 31, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Late one evening one summer when I was visiting NC, I was sitting on the couch eating a sundae cone. Those are the cones with chocolate and nuts on top and have the inner side of the cone lined with chocolate. At the bottom of the cone is the best part of the cone, the chocolate nugget. I love those sundae cones.

Abby was sitting to my right and Andy to my left. Both of them were begging for what they rightly assumed was a treat. Being in a generous mood, I lowered the cone to their eye level to let them have some. They began licking the cone with their eyes pinched shut and in pure bliss. This went on for a minute or two. They were so cute, adorable and innocent. The scene belied what was to come.

Almost instantaneously, both of them opened their eyes and in tandem, both of them made an ugly face and began snapping at the other. I couldn’t believe my sweet babies would attack each other. I shouted them down before things got out of hand. Both of them retreated to opposite sides of the den. For the next hour, they sulked and acted like they were guilty, much the same way when they had used the bathroom in the house. I would console both of them to let them know everything was OK with them and that everything was all right.

There response to a fight starkly contrasted to how Father behaved after a fight. I had seen Father attack other dogs. Within moments after the flare-up, Father would be bopping along like nothing had happened and all was right with the world.

I learned to keep the babies at a safe distance from each other and to take control over a situation when I fed them. Food could be a contentious issue which I learned the hard way, even when two sweet labs are involved.

In the meantime, I finished my sundae cone and savored the last part.

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