The munchkins amaze me. Just when I foolishly think I have at least an idea of what to expect, they do something unexpected.
After recent rains our backyard is damp and green, and underneath all that green grass is moist pliable dirt. Dasa has long been our little digger. New plants, thatch under the grass, general mystery patches that displease her, these must all be excavated. Sometimes she digs intently, thoroughly exploring one small spot. Sometimes, she digs furiously, dirt flying as she annihilates whatever evil lurks under that particular plant.
When I ask “Dasa, what are you doing?” She looks at me, clumps of dirt sticking to her little white feet, tail wagging, “Hi Mom.” I scoop her up so she can’t scamper into the house, up the stairs, and onto the bed before I clean her feet.
Dasa is very patient and sits on my lap while I use paper towels and warm water to clean the mud off each little toe. I tell her how very happy we are she’s our little girl, what an amazingly good little girl she is, and how it simply won’t do to have mud on our pretty girl’s feet.
She scampers off and a few minutes later scratches at the door to go outside and continue playing in the dirt.
Ivan has long dug in corners of the house. If he’s being ignored and there’s no paper to shred, he energetically digs the carpet in a corner. He’s especially fond of digging in the corner of our walk-in closet. Don’t ask me why. He digs energetically, wildly, ignoring our requests to come out of the closet until we close the door and turn out the light. A second later we open the door and he trots out, ready to play. He also really likes to dig behind doors, those are his favorite corners.
Until this spring, our elegant puppy boy would not dream of getting his feet dirty. Wet grass was dreadful enough without adding dirt. However, there’s something about this spring that incites wild digging by both munchkins. Is it the damp thatch under the grass? The perfect degree of moisture in the dirt? Hard to say. Yet they both dig little bald patches all over the back yard. These spots aren’t deep, mainly because I rush out and pour black pepper all over the dig sites. But still they persist.
As with most things, cleaning Ivan’s feet is much more complicated and fraught with difficulty. I reward both Munchkins with treats and then sit on the floor next to Ivan and pick up one front foot while Ivan grumps indignantly. I wash each toe with warm water while I offer a running commentary of praise. He harrumphs and mutters and finally leans against me, standing on three feet while I clean mud from each foot in turn, and tell him repeatedly that he is far too gorgeous to have mud on his feet. By the time I’m finished, he’s relaxed against me, receiving praise and snuggles as his due.