Man’s Best Friend – Part 2

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Today it’s Maisie’s turn to bask in my writing spot lamp. Maisie is a pedigree Chocolate Labrador complete with lineage charts and birth certificates to prove it. She even has a pedigree name that sounds a bit continental, Amys Sweetley Amore. It doesn’t quite role off my thick Yorkshire tongue so I won’t dwell on it, we’ll stick with Maisie. She’s a big lovable lump, with a bottom wiggle to rival Beyoncé! She always greets people with an enthusiastic wiggle, a sniff and a great big lick, in fact it’s a wonder I’ve not been licked to death so fond is she of giving me her version of a wash.

Take It Easy Dog

Maisie is 8 years old although some days you’d be forgiven for thinking she was 20. This is because she can be, to put it bluntly, lazy. I’ve never had a dog that can get to sleep as quickly or as often as her. She’s a take it easy dog who enjoys chilling out. In fact as the world is once again going Pokémon crazy I’ll provide an analogy – Snorlax, the big fat one that spends its days being docile and sleeping. Maisie would make friends with Snorlax immediately; although that’s probably not saying much as she is a Labrador, so she automatically thinks everyone is a friend.

She might be lazy but that doesn’t mean she’s not capable of moving when she wants to, it’s just invariably; she doesn’t feel the need to. She loves to go on walks and finds great joy in roaming the fields and woods, sniffing all the different plants, meeting new people and making new doggie friends. It’s a different story when it comes to ball games though. When I throw a ball for the dogs to chase Mack will be after it in a flash, where as Maisie will look interested but, if she decides she isn’t going to reach the ball first (90% of the time with Mack around) she simply won’t chase it. Instead she’ll just amble along with an air of nonchalance.

When you think about it, that kind of decision making takes a bit of cunning and that’s one thing Maisie knows a thing or two about. The big begging eyes, the little sad whimper and the classic I’m sorry look, these are all things she has absolutely mastered. She can wrap my family and I round her paws with a few little looks or whimpers.

The other thing she does expertly is wind the other two dogs up. Maisie takes great delight in using her intellect to get exactly what she wants and even though the other 2 dogs and myself are well aware of what she’s up to, we still can’t help falling victim to her cute face and wily ways. It’s usually Mollie on the receiving end of Maisie’s schemes but Mack isn’t immune to falling victim.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean.

I'm just chilling

I’m just chilling

Operation Distraction – Featuring the Toy Snatch Manoeuvre

Mollie is the boss of the three dogs, at least in her mind she is, I’m pretty sure the other two disagree at times. To Mollie all toys are Mollies, should she so wish to have them.

Now that’s all well and good, until Maisie decides she wants the rope tug toy Mollie is currently playing with. Of course Maisie can’t just chose another toy from the box of 20 we have; oh no she needs that exact one right there and then. So what is she going to do? There’s no way she can just walk up and take it from Mollie, even if Mollie isn’t playing with it right then because, as I’ve said, all toys are Mollies in her mind.

This is where the Toy Snatch Manoeuvre comes into play. Masie will very deliberately walk up to the toy box and choose another toy, let’s say for the purpose of this example it’s a rubber bone. She will then start energetically throwing the rubber bone around the room right in front of Mollie, or she’ll bring it to me to get me to throw it for her. Here’s the thing that’s clever, Maisie knows, I mean she really knows, that by doing this Mollie will be up and interested in the rubber bone in no time at all. Mollie, thinking she’s boss, just can’t stand it if one of the other dogs is playing with something without her. Mollie is now up and heading straight for Masie and the rubber bone, so what does Maisie do? she immediately gives up rubber bone to Mollie and streaks round the other way to take the rope tug toy she wanted all along. I’ve seen it more times than I can remember and it works every time. That’s how I know that Maisie understands exactly how Mollie will react and she pulls her to exactly where she wants her. I’m pretty sure many times she doesn’t even want the toy, she’s just having fun winding Mollie up.

I didn't steal it from Mollie. Honestly I didn't!

I didn’t steal it from Mollie. Honestly I didn’t!

The same trick works when it comes to cuddles on the sofa.

Cuddles with Daddy are one of Maisie’s favourite pastimes but there’s no way for her to get up and have a cuddle if Mollie is already there. As before, Operation Distraction gets underway. This time though, instead of throwing the toy around near Mollie, she goes one step further and starts nudging Mollie with the toy. Again it doesn’t take long before Mollie is wound up enough to leave her position with the aim of securing the toy and thwarting Maisie. The jokes on her though because as soon as she’s down off the sofa, Masie leaps up for her cuddle. She then promptly falls into a contented doze and Mollie is left once again pondering how she’s been outwitted. It’s really quite funny to watch. Maisie doesn’t always have the last laugh though, especially in the garden where Mollie has more room to move around, there she asserts herself as top dog.

For all the instances of winding each other up though, there are just as many of them nuzzling and taking care of each. The two of them really are very close and they can often be found snuggling up to each other, it’s like sibling rivalry between two sisters, each one wanting to outdo the other but deep down they love each other to bits.

Maisie Cuddle

Daddy cuddle