The Game of Twigs

Finnigan taught me how to play fetch this weekend.
Here he is with his new red ball.
Before this summer, Finnigan had no interest in the fetching process. He was content to bark and jump and menace the pugs and the children.
But something's changed in him of late. It sounds corny but it was like a switch went off in his reptilian brain.
Finnigan was looking for a connection.

I will admit in front of a jury that Finnigan is not my dog.
He is Scott's dog.
I have pugs.
Finn waits at the door for Scott to come home and hugs him. Me, he barks at. Sometimes, he bares his teeth. There is no respect there, none. He is a punishment from God, at least that's what I think sometimes.
But about a month ago, Finnigan began to reach out to me.
He began interrupting our Dominoes games by bringing me twigs, drooly, foamy twigs laced I am certain with E coli. It was a real nuisance.
The twigs landed on my pants or my bare thigh and as many times as I tried to throw them out of the yard, he would come back with more, each one slimier than the previous one.
I have to admit, it was kind of fun, a game he invented that could only be played by two.
Scott could have his affection, but he wanted me to have his fun.
The game has since evolved to involve toys bought from the pet store, toys that are quickly destroyed.
This weekend, we took a chance on a red Kong ball.
When I opened the package, his big stupid maw gaped wide awaiting his new treasure.
Finn played with the red ball for two hours, rolling it over with his tongue, bouncing it, putting it on the table. Then it was time to let the games begin.
Last night, we played fetch for two hours.
By the time the kids came for dinner, Finnie was exhausted and lay happily snoring at Jeff's feet for most of the evening. There was no barking, no menacing.
For the first time in his life, Finnigan was all about fun and love.
This is progress.
I'd like to say that Finn's behavior change was the result of me training him.
I believe it's the opposite.
It wasn't me trying to make the connection.
It was him.
We bonded for the first time in our lives together.
All over a twig.


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