For a dog that never seemed to grasp the point of toys, HufflePup has developed a deep abiding affection for his slowly acquired toy-friends, displaying heretofore unknown emotions as he cuddles and protects them.
We’ve amassed a small group of toys, ever since he first came around on the subject, perhaps having found his sense of play and belonging after being surrounded in the security of having a home that’s all his, and not a bit of it to share with a rotation of pushy-playful fosters that formed his pack before we came along.
Regardless of whether the foster sib was bigger or smaller than him, he’d rather roll over and submit than engage in puppy play; being invited to carouse by happy barking puppies only incites confusion, anxiety and a touch of shame. No wonder he’s always refused to lay on his back.
These days, his toys seem to be his accomplices. He still hides the ones he’s protecting from the blasphemous squeaker (usually me. It’s too funny to see his face when he comes and takes the toys away from from me) in the safety of his crate, and brings out daily favorites for his Walk Bartering.
And occasionally, his nemeses.