Whenever Sadie and I are leaving the house, I signal to her that we are going out by getting her collar. I typically put on her collar and jacket or harness dress and then go get my jacket and shoes on. Sadie has invented a game during that brief window of time that she finds very amusing. It’s not very funny to me, especially when we’re running late. I call it her “Get It Off Me” game.
The Get It Off Me Game begins when I close the last Velcro strap, buckle, or zipper of Sadie’s jacket or harness dress. She doesn’t start the game when her collar goes on – that would be too soon. But as soon as that jacket or harness is on, Sadie runs to one of a variety of cushioned objects. Sometime she runs to the couch, sometimes it’s my bed, sometimes it’s her dog house, or just a dog bed. Regardless of which she chooses, Sadie runs full speed and then leaps onto the convenient cushion. Then she rolls around trying to get the jacket or harness off of her. Sometimes she is able to undo the Velcro against the side of the couch or bed. Sometimes she gets one leg or her head out of her outfit. She’s even ripped off buttons and decorative flowers from her dresses or jackets during this game.
All of this occurs only in the time it takes me to get my shoes and jacket on. If I’m ready to leave and open the door, then I’ve won the game and Sadie happily accepts her defeat and heads down the stairs. If she doesn’t come to me when I open the door, then I’ve lost the game. Sadie has won by at least partially removing her outerwear. I then have to put down my purse and whatever else I’m inevitably carrying and resecure Sadie’s jacket or harness so we can safely leave the house.
As I looked around my living room last weekend, I noticed over a dozen tissue boxes lying on the floor. Before you start thinking I might be a secret hoarder, let me remind you that all of these tissue boxes belong to Sadie, as she uses them in her favorite game, Tissue Box Ball. She usually goes from box to box, playing with them one at a time. But on this particular day I decided to see if Sadie would like to play with all of her tissue boxes – at the same time. I took one of her squeaky balls and placed it in a random tissue box. Next I began stacking the tissue boxes one on top of the other to form a tower. Then I told Sadie to find her ball. She sniffed the tower, she barked at the tower, she ran from the tower, but eventually she worked up the courage to knock over the tower. After destroying several more towers throughout the weekend, Sadie perfected her method of handling a tissue box tower.
Step one involves barking at the tower, hoping it will fall down on its own.
Step two is to make sure the ball is actually hidden in the tower. Sadie would sniff the tower for the scent of her ball, and then sniff all over the rest of the living room just to make sure her ball wasn’t secretly hiding somewhere else.
Step three involves more barking, while circling the tower and checking for weaknesses.
In step four Sadie actually hits the tower with her paw and then jumps back, knocking down the tissue boxes without getting hit by them.
And finally, step five involves Sadie sniffing each fallen box looking for the one containing her beloved ball.
You can see the whole game in action in Sadie’s Tissue Box Tower video: