Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The gladiators

Jack is Murdoch’s best friend in the whole world. I constantly remind Murdoch that Jack is also his only friend and that perhaps Murdoch shouldn’t be such a bully all the time, like when he pushes Jack’s face into a snow bank or body-slams him into a ditch.

“Murds, you be nice to Jack,” I say as he steamrolls Jack off the trail into a deep, fluffy snow drift and sits on him. Jack peers up at me around a shaggy black shoulder with a wide grin on his face. I shake my head as I trudge past them, “Come on you guys, let’s go.”

Behind me I hear snarls and grumbles and claws digging into squeaky, packed snow and then a thundering charge as Murdoch whips past me, knees up around his ears, followed by Jack, snow spraying from his heels. Murdoch stops suddenly, turns back and picks up speed, lips flapping away from his teeth as he heads straight for Jack, Jack falters in his stride, turns to the right and pulls back just before Murdoch plows into him. They tumble around my feet, locked in battle, jaws clamping on necks and I jump to the side to avoid the tangle.

They leap in the air and bash chests, tails swish violently at the air, teeth flash white in the sun. They are a couple of gladiators snarling vicious threats; if I didn’t know better I’d think it was a fight to the death.

Murdoch throws his arm around Jack’s neck like the start of a head lock, Jack reaches up and grabs Murdoch’s cheek in his teeth, pulls him to the ground. They roll through the snow, Murdoch’s nimble body contorting in strange shapes, teeth bared and clashing. I expect them to chip.

They are so deep in battle I am surprised when they stop, distracted by some sound in the distance I don’t hear, and stand together, thoughtful and panting.

“You guys are crazy,” I say. They look at me, a brief flicker of recognition crossing their faces, and then Murdoch turns his head, slams sideways into Jack. Jack clamps his teeth on Murdoch’s neck and I skirt around them as slobber flies and freezes to their faces.


  1. From down here in hot and muggy Miami, I really loved the beautiful snow pics in your previous blog, Heather. Good to see that lovely white stuff again - feel it, breathe it, ski it. You make me remember that I'm a Canadian on vacation in Florida. Some good, some bad in that. Save some snow for me. Please!

    1. It is starting to rain now. Snow is melting :(

  2. They do indeed look like they're fighting to the death! It's so great that they have each other to body slam and chase and bite and wrestle. Can you imagine what life would be like if YOU were solely responsible for Murdoch-entertainment/exercise?? :) That top photo is wonderful.

    1. Oh yes... I am so grateful to have Jack in our lives, what a difference it has made to have someone Murdoch can rough house with. Both Bear and Max wanted nothing to do with Murdoch the minute he showed up in our lives. Jack was the only one who gave Murdoch the time of day (except for Cleo of course, but she's not really of sound mind and certainly not equipped to be a suitable playmate for the big bad dog who I'm not entirely unconvinced saw her as lunch).