I wrote this a long time ago when we were living in CA and my two dogs, now gone, used to play every night. It’s one of my fondest memories.
It always happens around 7 p.m. each night. I am usually sitting at my computer, writing or surfing the web, when I see something out of the corner of my eye. Looking up, I see Xena, my American Eskimo, and Hercules, my Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, staring at each other from opposite ends of the long hallway. I know what will happen next and I have the best seat in the house to watch it unfold. It amazes me how they communicate by body language or maybe animals have some sort of telepathy. They continue to stare at each other, Xena looking relaxed, Hercules, his body tense, his brown eyes unblinking. She lies on the carpet closet to me, her elegant body perfectly poised. He stands at the far end of the long hallway, head down.
Suddenly, she moves, a white blur running down the hallway straight at him. He runs for cover under the kitchen table mere seconds before she reaches him. I can hear him furiously scratching the carpet with his front paws. She sits down where he once stood, tilting her head in his direction, a curious look on her face and pointed ears twitching. Bolting past her, he races around the couch and down the hall toward me, stopping at the end of the hall, panting. They face each other once again. His body tense, nails digging into the carpet, ready to sprint at a moment’s notice.
Without warning, she moves down the hall like a white flash, toppling him beneath her larger body. She grabs him by the scruff of his neck with her teeth, flinging him around like a rag doll. To someone unused to their play, it looks like she might be hurting him, but he squeals with delight, struggling to get away, pushing at her with his paws. Growling and flashing her fangs, she continues to fling him around, pinning him to the ground.
Finally, she lets him up and casually walks away to sprawl down on the cool tile by the front door, her pink tongue like a lost rose petal on a snow covered ground. He bounds toward her, brushing up against her, biting at the thick fur at her neck. She ignores him, rolling onto her side. He continues to bite and rub against her. Lifting her head, she gently licks his little brown face. He growls but gives in to her. After walking a few feet away, he plops down on the carpet, rolling onto his side, eyes closing.
Playtime is over.
Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author