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Sep 24, 1996

We used to have an inadvertent food game.

Under the kitchen cabinet, we had a bottomless supply of self-serve chewies for Raffi. When the sink flooded, we moved them to an open brass log bin on the hearth, in the den. Raffi started off with a good effort at chew till-intestinal-impaction, but then became quite reasonable. Whenever he was told, "Go get a chew toy" (or incidentally, "NO!"), he would rummage through the current stock and pick a chew toy. Enter Gambi in our household. When she discovered the treasure trove of ears, chew sticks, and various forms of legal dog-chews, she hid all of them in the couch cushions. ALL of them. She wasn't particularly interested in consuming a cold, hard, dry chew toy. She ONLY ate chewies that Raffi had already started.

It wasn't like burying them in the couch really hid them from Raffi, anyway; it just gave Raffi and Gambi both an excuse to knock the cushions off the couch.

Years ago, when I was in college, I came home for a visit. It wasn't really home--it was an interim house as my parents were living in a rental house while the deal on their new house was closing. My brother was going through a divorce, and was staying in their extra bedroom; there wasn't really room for visitors. I found myself sleeping on a loveseat in a little 3-walled study off the hall, whose wide opening faced the kitchen. Foxy slept on the loveseat with me. It was the dead of winter, and Foxy's indecisive struggles to get under the comforter, get OUT from under the comforter, get under the comforter, pretty much wrecked the bedding.

My father came to the kitchen for a midnight snack, saw me uncovered, and was attempting to cover me with another blanket when Foxy jumped up OFF me and attacked him. Even though he was one of her very favorite people.

There were several factors here:

1. Strange environment
2. Defensive posture (sleeping on me, no doubt!)
3. Pregnancy (she gave birth to China a week or so later, on Elvis's deathday)
4. Due cause: If someone came after me, sleeping, hands up, carrying a
blanket, it looks pretty sinister, dog OR human. I think normal startle
reflex would be a factor here too.

I will also note that the instant Foxy was fully awake
1. she licked my father's face, and was very embarrassed, submissive and apologetic. She never actually bit him.
2. my father was delighted that I was going to be accompanied by such a fiercely protective guardian.
--- Tonight at bedtime, Raffi got up on 2 legs and "walked" from the den, down the hall through the kitchen, thru my office to the foot of the stairs. I didn't see Christopher Reeve doing that 10 days after his injury. Every night someone's spent the night downstairs so Raffi wouldn't be alone. Tonight Raffi insisted on going upstairs for bedtime as usual. Now that he's surprisingly ambulatory, continence is going to be a little problem. Fortunately his clockwork regularity is determined by a 1 time morning feeding. Unfortunately, he's well enough to drag himself across the room for a leisurely afternoon snack from the garbage. I think we're going to try diapers. So much for Basenji dignity. In the meantime, we're awaiting a callback from a cart company in Big Sky Montana.