Me: The puppies are sharing the dog bed under the kitchen table again. Bless them.
Nell: I know. When exactly are you going to stop calling them puppies? They are three years old now.
Me: They’ll always be puppies to me. Harriet seems to be watching Dave closely and he is pretending to be asleep. My darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.
Nell: It’s probably about the antler.
Me: What antler?
Nell: David was having a morning chew when Harriet asked if she could have a turn.
Me: I hope he let her.
Nell: Of course he didn’t. When a Labrador needs to chew, it must be left to do so at its own leisure.
Me: That’s rubbish, Nell. Those two are always sharing antlers and even you and Poppy take them sometimes.
Nell: You are talking about ‘Slide and Sly.’
Me: No. I’m talking about taking antlers.
Nell: ‘Slide and Sly’ is a game. If you have an antler, or some other treasured chew, and you lose concentration and let it drop, your opponent is allowed to slide over slyly and take it away.
Me: That’s just stealing.
Nell: No. It is a game. If you are aware of your opponent’s plan and catch them in the act, you win. David is particularly good at both pretending to be asleep and being sly.
Me: I’ve noticed him do that with Kev’s socks. For a big dog he can move really quietly when he wants to.
Nell: Yes. It’s most impressive.
Me: The times he has stolen a sock out of the laundry basket when we weren’t looking.
Nell: Clever animal.
Me: Poppy isn’t sly. If she wants something she just marches up and takes it.
Nell: Nobody argues with Poppy. She carries a sword. You know that.
Me: Yes. Sorry.