Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Playing with Murphy
It usually starts with the football.
I'll be at my desk, minding my own business, when suddenly Murphy will bust into my office with a toy in his mouth, wanting to play.
Now when he decides that it's playtime and you're "it", there's no opting out. The toy gets dropped in your lap, and if you don't respond, he just gets more insistent, to the point of crying, barking, pawing at you, or whatever else it takes to get your attention. After a while, it's just easier to take the sage advice of Han Solo and "Let the Wookie win". He won't rip your arm off, but you'll get no peace until Murphy gets a few minutes of play time.
So the toy is in my lap. Murphy is standing in front of me, quivering with anticipation. So what to do with the toy?
If you answer "throw it", that would be wrong. As much as Murphy loves to play"fetch" outside with his flat basketball, inside toys are apparently not for fetching. If I throw this toy away, he will look at me with a sad, almost uncomprehending gaze, as if to ask: "Why did you do that?" Then he will turn, walk slowly out of the room, and come back in a few seconds later with another toy. Obviously you just didn't want to play with that one, whatever it was. So now maybe it'll be the stuffed cat, or the Kong, or the tug rope. You see, Murphy does not want to chase his toys all over the house. He wants to hand you the toy and have you take it and hand it back to him. Then he will give it to you again, and you will give it back to him, and maybe tease him with it a bit. There might even be some tugging planned, but mainly he just wants to grapple with you and the toys. It's what he does and what he likes.
But eventually, after most of the other toys are in my office, having been passed around more than Lindsay Lohan's court file, the red tug ring comes in, and there will be tugging.
My office chair has wheels on it, so I just hold on to the toy and let him pull me around the room in it.
Eventually he's satisfied and goes off to lay back down on his dog bed, no doubt to plot his next assault on the kitchen counter. And as for me...I just get to pick up all of his toys from my office floor and put them back in his toy box.