Nobody likes to be called shallow, concerned with appearance, superficial. But I guess we are all shallow in some way, me included. We have to have the newest and best iPhone as soon as it comes out, and depending on its features, we’re willing wait for days in long lines for it. What was wrong with the old one? The screen was worn, maybe? Or now they offer it in rose gold?
Here are some of Henry and Pippa’s favorite toys. Are they tattered, worn, seen better days? Yes, yes, and yes. Are they still loved and still good enough? Yes, and yes.
That’s what I love about dogs. Even if they knew there were better toys out there, they’d still be happy with what they have. And regarding their people, they don’t care about anything–not your hair, your clothes, or your phone. They love you for you.
Maybe we could learn something from our canine friends.
When I think of savor, I think of someone sitting down to a big hunk of steak, juicy and marbled with fat and flecked of pink flesh—I mean, meat. In my mind they look like a cartoon character, napkin tucked into the neck of their shirt, fork and knife in hand, ready to dig in. Beef is not my favorite, but I do eat chicken, turkey, and fish.
It probably it comes as no surprise that Pippa and Henry are meat fiends. I think most dogs are. When we have chicken or turkey for dinner, there is usually leftover from my plate. Dad, who loves them but would never admit it (“they’re ok,” he’ll say while he has one of on their back on his lap, scratching their stomach after dinner) feeds them tiny pieces of meat and it’s gone in a fraction of a second.
It’s Pippa and Henry’s dog chews that truly make me want to gag. Because they share, it’s like getting a used piece of gum. One of their favorite chew toys is a hoof! Sometime long ago, the thing I’m looking at by the table—where we eat dinner—was on some poor horse. Henry was chewing it, lost interest, and Pippa picked it up. Yummy.
They have another one that, of course, they share, and that one’s made of yak milk. How Mom handles those yaks, as we call them, without latex gloves, I have no idea.
Shared horse hooves? Communal yak milk chews? Come to think of it, maybe steak isn’t so bad after all.
“When are Grammie and Grampie going to be home?” Henry asked.
“Soon, hurry up, Henry! We’ll both would get in trouble, and I told you I wanted no part in this caper,” Pippa said, drumming her claws.
“Would you lighten up? Don’t you realize what today is?” Henry said, pointing to Grammie’s laptop.
Pippa rolled her brown eyes. “Yes, Henry, you’ve told me. It’s Amazon Prime day.” She rolled her eyes again.
“I told you we can get some new toys!” Henry said, pointing to their now-deflated, now-decapitated, previously-Fez-wearing bear, a victim of an exceptionally vigorous tug-of-war match. “And Grammie and Grampie will be so happy that we saved them some money! You watch: they’ll thank us! Okay, now on to checkout. I told you it’d be fine!”
The next morning…
“Gary, I got a shipping confirmation from Amazon. Why did you order two hundred dollars’ worth of dog toys?!”
Not knowing quite how to use the word savage in relation to the canines in question, I went to my mom and sister. Sarah, visiting from Los Angeles, where she is a middle school teacher, informed me that the slang version of the word means brutally awesome, as in, “The way you told him off was savage.” Okay!
I’m not exaggerating: Pippa and Henry spend around 6-8 hours of the day asleep!
Doesn’t all of that energy need to go somewhere? Yes it does, and it’s spent in what Mom calls “the witching hour.” Luckily I’m in bed watching TV by seven, but from the other side of the house I can hear them playing. Think of hearing two six-year-old boys roughhousing. Then it stops. Pippa has given Henry the savage look. The look that says, “I’m bigger. I’m stronger. When I say it’s time to stop, you stop.”
As a big sister, I agree with Pippa. Sometimes they just need to be put in their place.
When you think of siblings, (I guess Pippa is Henry’s aunt, but they’re so close in age they count as siblings), you think of rivalries, bickering, and tattling. Being from a family of three girls, I speak from experience.
As the oldest, I know how annoying younger siblings can be. Pippa deserves the “Henry Tolerance Award!” Even as his mother, I will say that he can get, let’s just say, trying.
But Pippa is a saint. She would let her little brother win at anything. Playing rope, instead of letting instinct overcome her, the sweet dog literally lets go of the purple tether, letting her little brother think he won.
I don’t know if dogs’ minds work like that, but Henry believes it.