Slide and Sly

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.

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