Confessions of a Neurotic Dog Mom: I Cherish a Decapitated Dinosaur
If I ever butt-dialed you while I was talking to June, you might think I was talking to a human child. And that I was raising the spawn of Satan.
“Go poop in the long grass.”
“Did you find another dead mouse in the field? Drop it.”
“Look at this! You decapitated it! What a good girl you are!”
I was making breakfast today, still half asleep, and my eyes wandered to the horribly disfigured Nylabone T-Rex torso on the floor. I stared unthinkingly for a few seconds, then was overcome with pride.
When we first took 6 lb, shaking, shedding, anxious, starving-from-tapeworm, puppy June home, the letter from her foster mom said toys didn’t interest her. Nothing but hiding interested her.
My parents came over with the Nylabone Dinosaur—a favorite of their dog, Thunder, and our childhood dogs—pride in their eyes, envisioning the hours of chewing joy it would bring her.
But she ignored it and hid from us.
Eventually though, after enjoying a ton of treats for coming to us and hanging out with us, she began gingerly picking up the few the well-loved cat toys we left lying around. The ones we thought were big enough for her.
I wonder if she felt more comfortable with toys other animals had played with. Maybe they carry some magic, some forever home ju-ju.
She still ignored the dino.
One day we brought it over to my parents’ with us.
Thunder had his own dino chewed down to a nub. He walked over holding his, saw June’s new dino, which she was ignoring, dropped his tortured T-Rex and plucked up her new one. She grabbed his gnawed dino and ran.
That sealed it. She chewed her own T-Rex for an hour that night. After Thunder “started” it for her, she loved it.
When we were kids my sister would do things like that for me. She’d start peeling an orange, for instance, to get me interested. I’d finish peeling it and eat it.
When I noticed how much of June’s T-Rex was missing, I remembered all my worrying over her demeanor, her health, her ability to enjoy dog things.
Just look at that torso. I want to put it in a shadow box. But that would be creepy.