A Boy and His Dog

Joey has really taken to loving and playing on Duke ever since we got Hoss.  I think he sees Hoss as competition for my love and attention though in reality it’s no contest at all as I love my Joey best.  But given Joe’s thinking process he tends to ignore the big dog and focusses his energy on our littlest baby, Duke.

Both dogs come in each evening for storytime in Joes room, climbing up onto his bed and crowding around us as if they too want to hear the stories that we are going to read before settling Joey down to sleep.  Duke always squeezes in between Joe and I, while Hoss just stretches out along the side nearest the wall as if realizing that this is Joey’s special time and he should not try to come between us.

This past week Joey has taken to wanting to play in our front yard, which really isn’t much of a yard since it’s just a slope that leads right down to the street, though it at least is covered in grass.  He runs around out there chasing Duke and trying to get Duke to chase him back.  The other night Grandma got Joe to play catch with her with a tennis ball, showing him how he could make it bounce back and forth between them, roll it down the slide on his sand table, and throw it for Duke to fetch.  I love watching my mom and Joe interact.  It reminds me so much of my own special relationship with my mom’s mum, Queenie.  When I was little, my grandma would play with me too, teaching me how to make cookies, and making a game out of raking the leaves up in the yard.  They were such simple things but they made the biggest impression on me.  I think the same will be true for Joey when he looks back on his childhood and has his memories of my mom.

I’m so happy that Joey is growing up with animals and learning how to treat them properly with love and respect.  Duke is claimed by all but me which is ironic since originally we got him with me in mind.  Instead he took to mom and then when she went to stay with Crystal for those few months he switched his allegiance to Larry who considers Duke his since he’s a small dog kinda guy.  And Joey, Joey thinks Duke is his even though I believe Duke just things of Joey as an annoyance.  When we first got him Joey was to rough with him, running up on him and trying to hug him to tightly.  It put Duke on Edge and I have to admit he does have some attitude when it comes to Joe.  However, in the past month I’ve noticed the tide turning, that Duke is seeking out Joe more and more as he realizes that Joey just wants to love and play on him.  It’s a fun thing to watch.  The other day when they were playing with the ball, Joey decided he wanted to be just like Duke and dropped to all fours, running around on the grass, trying to get Duke to chase him.  It was priceless to watch.  My hope for Joey is that he’ll always have a dog by his side to provide companionship or a partner on new adventures.

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