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We’ve passed the Winter Solstice but not by much.  Daylight goes by fast and the dark evenings are left for us to fill with either car rides or house activities.  Tonight we are being teased with a snowfall, less than an inch but prior to the snow was rain so being out and about for the sake of a car ride feels like a bad gamble.   Holly, Helen & I have our evening rituals of games and treat sharing fun but those end quick, especially when you start at 6:00!  Tonight is the last Saturday night of the year and deserving of a special peanut butter event!  The peanut butter boards keep each of them occupied for nearly an hour.  Each has their own board to lick clean and then each has to do a thorough QA of the other taking just as long!  An extra bonus is it tires them out and leaves them feeling quite content – for a little while. 

If I am downstairs, I am fair game to Holly for being a play mate.  A ball is tossed at my feet or in my lap.  Or she holds it in her mouth and gives me a long, saddened stare down while sitting directly in front of me.  This is after our evening ritual of games and/or car rides.  She has learned the phrase ‘I am All Done.’ and with that she drops her head and walks to a corner to lay down.   Holly simply loves to play, she loves to have you engaged in any sort of game – made up or structured.  So long as you are a participant at any level of involvement, she is content.  If you stop, she finds a way – whether it be your shoe from the porch; pj bottom from the bedroom; dish towel from the kitchen; or bath towel from the bathroom – she will find a way to get you to re-engage and interact.  

DeeAnn & I had all the dogs to ‘the Field’.  Our secret spot is getting attention and sometimes we have to share the Field.  We must look like we own the ball diamond because one lady politely approached DeeAnn and asked if her dog could walk and play with our dogs.  She’s a nice dog, she said.   And the dog (Buffy) was a nice dog but for whatever reason picked out Holly to harrass.  Buffy ignored Rainie (good choice on her part), Keltie and even Helen.  But Holly, she would chase and make grumbling and growly noises which instantly put Holly on the ground, belly up and head looking anywhere but at Buffy.   Holly was taller, leaner and much more athletic than Buffy and could have outrun and outlasted her during everyone of Buffy’s mock charges but instead Holly did the stop, drop and roll routine.  It was kinda cute at first, then it became annoying and irritating.   Holly was getting frustrated and not having any fun.  The lady recognized it too and put Buffy on a leash and scolded her for being a bully.  This has me relating to  parents who learn of their child being bullied on the bus or at school.  These young vulnerable beings entrust you to protect them and keep harm away yet encounters in life happen where it doesn’t always work out that way.  My prior dog, Boden, would have left Buffy with at minimum one ear missing.  I had to protect him from his own reactiveness and threatening tendencies with other dogs.  Holly is on the other end of the spectrum, where her passiveness leaves her vulnerable to being harmed.  There’s no teaching Holly how to fight back, how to defend herself – and I wouldn’t be the one to teach her if there was!  All the skills Boden taught me – acceptance, awareness, and avoidance – are back in my world again.  And I am grateful for every one of them, and both Boden & Holly!