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The Bully
Is the bully the chew stick or the cute little girl dog?

July 2007

Nigel and Divot have always enjoyed a good chew, such as raw bones or bully sticks.  They love bully sticks in particular and get very excited when I get the bullies out and start making preparations to give them one.  The preparation part is spreading out a large old beach towel to cover the carpet in my office.  This ancient towel with its beach motif is referred to as "the Binky."  Once the floor is properly covered, I go to the kitchen and fetch the bully sticks, and while I'm doing that, Nigel and Divot each choose their spot on the Binky and wait for my return.  Once the bullies are handed out, each heads to their corner and settles down for a nice chew.  As is Divot's custom now, she begins enthusiastically to chew on her stick, but this lasts for only a few minutes because she has suddenly realized that the stick she really wanted was the one I just gave to Nigel.  

The reality is that it wouldn't matter which bully stick Divot got – she always wants the other one.  I can't take Nigel's stick away from him to give to her because it wouldn't be

fair, so Divot sets her sights on waiting him out.  She sits as close to him as possible, while staring at me – imploring me – to take it away from him.  She will occasionally let out a little whimper or grunt, hoping either will have an effect on either Nigel or me.  It has not effect on Nigel, who continues to happily chew, ignoring her whimpers, grunts and occasional squeaks.  I think it is adorable and it's hard not to help her and give her what she wants.  She continues her vigil for the chew – the one she knows was truly meant for her.

When Nigel has had a good long chew on the bully stick, (Divot has had no chewing time because she wasted her time staring at Nigel instead of enjoying her bully stick), I suggest a carrot.  Nigel drops the bully stick and follows me to the kitchen to get his carrot.  Divot, thrilled with this new turn of events, picks up the discarded bully stick and has her turn at it.  Sometimes Nigel will pick up her unwanted stick, but often, he's had enough and he is ready for the next activity, which is usually a nap.  This is the way things usually go, but several days ago, Divot realized that she was missing out on something and this smart, sassy little Norwich Terrier set about rectifying the situation.

When the time came for the carrot switch, Nigel and I headed for the kitchen as usual.  As I was feeding him pieces of carrot, Divot suddenly came running into the kitchen with the big bully stick still in her mouth, which made for quite an amusing sight.  With lightening speed, she dropped the bully stick, gulped down a piece of carrot, picked up the stick, and ran back toward my office with the big bully stick still in her mouth.  Just as suddenly as she ran off, she returned (bully stick still in her mouth) and headed for the patio door, throwing me a look that said, "Gotta go out!"  I opened the door and out she went.  She relieved herself (bully stick still in her mouth) and came bounding back through the door and returned to my office to the Binky to chew on her prize.  Apparently this bully stick was just too good to put down, even when nature called!

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