It’s interesting having a puppy in the house again. I mean, Musket is not a tiny puppy, but he is only 10 months old. This is occasionally difficult to remember because he’s a big boy, but at ten months old he’s not really expected to have his WHOLE brain grown in. He does have half a brain, and it’s a pretty prodigious half a brain, but he’s not quite got the self-control of an older dog yet.
So anyway, new dogs are always fascinated by the cats. Mr. Fluffybutt is no exception. He is not out to hurt cats, but he really, really wants to interact with cats and possibly play with them. The cats, on the other hand, are not accustomed to the laser-focused stare of a drivey dog. Well, none of us really are, because generally speaking I prefer softer dogs and so that is what I have: dogs who can be roused to intensity by favorite treats or toys but who generally speaking are pretty happy to lounge on the couch with a chewie. But I digress. Musket is a very intense dog, who very intensely wants to interact with fascinating cat beasts, and the fascinating cat beasts would very much like him to not interact with him.
Initially, Musket thought it would be fun to play chasey games with cats. This worked really well with Aida, who took one look at him and said “Oh hell no!” and bolted for the cat rooms. Then he tried to play it with Braxton Bragg. For comparison: Aida weighs about seven pounds. Braxton is roughly three times her size. Neither one of them suffer fools or puppies gladly, but while Aida’s tactic is to remove herself to a secure area, Braxton’s modus operandi is to catch the offender across the face with two or three lightning-fast right hooks. With claws. And he holds a grudge.
Having thus been discouraged from playing chasey games with Braxton Bragg, Musket next optimistically decided he’d try with Emmaline. Emms looks like a much safer bet, she weighs about eight pounds and does not swagger like young Master Bragg. Unfortunately for Musket’s deliriously joyful plans for playing with her, she grew up in the woods and believes very deeply in her right to self-defense and also has all her claws. Since Musket isn’t aggressive, just playful, he came off the worse for wear in that encounter, too.
So by the time he got around to contemplating playing with Roo, who has no teeth and no claws, he was deeply respectful of the personal space of cats. Once he attempted to suck on Roo’s head and was reprimanded by the people, and now he leaves cats alone except to stand at a respectful distance and sometimes cry from frustration because he wants to play with cats SO MUCH and cats do not love him back and want to play with him. In fact he has been cornered by cats on a couple of occasions. He has such a good heart that retaliation has never crossed his mind, instead he waits for people to move the cats out of his way so he can get by without losing an eye.
Musket’s also a very honest dog. He will not lie to you, he will not dissemble, he lets you know who he is and what he needs to make his little world right. He’s frankly a joy, and that’s why I’ve loved him from afar for a while now. Unfortunately he’s also a dog who needs tow ork to be happy, and the Manor is not a good Working Dog home for the long haul. But so far Mr. Fluffybutt is enjoying his vacation, as you can see from the light in his eyes.