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‘They’re so stinkin’ cute!’

Posted: May 18, 2012 9:54 a.m.
Updated: May 21, 2012 5:00 a.m.

My wife told me to write this column -- not that I wouldn’t have written it on my own, eventually -- but, men, we all know we should do what the wife says, right?

Several weeks ago, my wife got word that Pawmetto Lifeline, formerly known as Project Pet, in Columbia, was going to have a bunch o’ puppies available for fostering. Thinking it would be a good experience for our boys, she quickly said yes when the opportunity to foster a couple of pups actually came up.

When they arrived, Nash (the light tan pup) appeared to be quieter and more sanguine that his brother, Titan (do I dare use the word “brindle” to describe a dog?). That characteristic lasted all of about 36 hours when Nash suddenly started to be the real aggressor and Titan all but begged for help from “mama.”

I know it’s natural for brothers -- including canine litter-mates -- to fight. It’s how they learn, after all, but -- wow! -- did Nash really start going after Titan. There’s been a few yippy bark fests, with snarls and growls thrown in ... which is actually quite hilarious when you only weigh a pound or so, if that.

Of course, being babies, they occasionally yip and yap at the wrong times. Luckily, they don’t do that too much overnight. But come 5:30 a.m. or so and watch out!

And then there’s the pee and poop. OK, I’m sorry, but when my sons got to be of a certain age I was very happy to leave that part of our lives behind. Now, I’m suddenly having to be very careful where I walk. I have to grab paper towels to clean up and, yes, it smells to high heaven in our kitchen most days.

But, as my wife likes to say, “They’re so stinkin’ cute!”

Indeed they are. As you can see on the right side of the picture, they have a duck to attack. It makes a “quack” noise when you squeeze or hit the belly. It’s great fun to bounce it on the floor, repeatedly making duck noises as they chase it back and forth. Let go and -- whoa! -- there go Nash and Titan. “Kill the duck! Kill the duck!” we yell.

Bloodthirsty, aren’t we?

They also have a very dead skunk (OK, not a real one) to play tug of war with and a few other toys. Not to mention a purple blanket we let them snuggle on. Unfortunately, their little claws get snagged but they’ve figured out how to get themselves out of that one.

It’s also fun to watch the pups climb all over my sons, especially the elder, Joshua. They love to chase after our pant legs ... or maybe it’s just our toes? When we pick them up, they try nibbling our ears ... or nose ... or neck ... pretty much anywhere soft that we might make that wonderful “ouch” sound they love.

What’s really hilarious is their interactions with Dixie, our dachshund mix lady of the house, and Gibson, the cranky old, blind Basset Hound.

Actually Gibson doesn’t seem to really care. He can hear and smell them, of course, but since he can’t see them, he appears to be somewhat diffident to their attempts at bravado. Perhaps it’s his age. He probably figures he’s smelled and heard more in his whole life than they’ve ever seen and that he can pretty much ignore them with impunity.

Dixie, on the other hand ... because she’s short and stout (told you she was a mix), I think they see her as a potential playmate. They’ve tried everything: growling, yipping, trying to climb the child gate separating the kitchen from the office.

And I think she’d like to play with them. Or perhaps eat them. At least I thought so until my wife pointed out that it seemed like she might actually be scared of them. I missed it, but one time as the boys herded her through the kitchen to the office, my wife had the darndest time holding on to Nash and Titan. They wanted to leap out of her arms to go after Dixie. Goodness knows what would have happened.

Unfortunately, we only have these two crazy critters for a total of about five weeks. We’re three weeks in, so we know we’ll have to say good-bye soon. My wife is already having a bit of a hard time, especially with Titan. She’s already warned me that if they aren’t adopted by someone else, Titan might just come back. Could Nash be far behind?

After all, they are so stinkin’ cute!

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