How Nutmeg and Nora Play

Every morning, at 6:30 a.m., I let Nutmeg and Nora, our Cairn terrier rescues, outside. When they come in, I wash their bowls and feed them. They seem to like when I hang around as they eat. As I’ve mentioned before, although these two dogs have their moments of conflict, it’s never over food. They start out in front of their own bowls, and then one will leave her bowl and nudge into the other’s. Then the one who has been nudged just moves over to the first bowl.

Nutmeg and Nora love to play fetch.  If we throw a ball, they both run after it, of course. It’s interesting to see which one emerges with the ball and the other dog on its tail. If it’s Nutmeg, she’ll put the ball down near me and then when I reach for the ball, she beats me to it. Then she drops it again and looks at me, as if to say, “Don’t you want to play?” Yes, I do, but I like to preserve my fingers for important things like typing this blog. So, I’ve learned to block her like a football player with one hand while I reach for the ball with the other. Then, I can throw it again.

I haven’t been able to figure out what makes one toy more appealing than another to Nutmeg and Nora. For instance, we had two toys that looked like alien balls with feet. One was green and one was red. They loved the green one.  If we put it on top of the refrigerator, they’ll try to jump up and get it. They have such sharp teeth and powerful jaws that they tear through these toys like piranhas.  First the feet came off. Then the squeaker came out. They will chew and chew until just a speck of the ball is left. Then, I end up throwing a spitty portion of a sphere. They fixate on that piece of rubber, completely forsaking the brand new toys. Sometimes, I throw the ball (or portion of it), and the dog who fetched it decides to chew on it a while, causing a pause in the play.

Ball before destruction

When it comes to play, the activity I like best is when they wrestle and tussle with each other. One pounces on the other, or one walks under the other lifting the latter right off of her feet. They roll around and nip each other having a great time. They usually engage in this play after they’ve been in their crates for a while. That’s how they greet each other and reconnect. It’s at those times that I know they really feel affection for one another.

Nora and Nutmeg fixate on the partial ball

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