The Gift Bone: A Rafferty Story

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I probably should post more often about Rafferty, aka PuffyFluffy. Last night, as I was telling Rafferty his adoption story (this is a real thing that I do), I realized that people should have more Rafferty in their lives.

Rafferty is a very particular dog. He  easily becomes very set in his ways and doesn’t really like to deviate from his Rafferty plan for any reason. He is also very smart. I don’t say that like someone who has a kid and then tells everyone all the time how smart their kid is. I say that as someone who has had multiple pets and knows the difference between an intelligent dog and a dog who… struggles. So, Rafferty is smart.

Rafferty has a particular bone, we call it his Gift Bone, and it’s a bone he is supposed to  chew and eat and enjoy. However, since the boyfriend purchased and gave Rafferty this bone, Rafferty has treasured the bone and refuses to eat it. In fact, Rafferty uses the Gift Bone to show the boyfriend and me who his favorite parent is that day.

Each night, Rafferty waits patiently by our bed as we fix the covers, Gift Bone in mouth, and then hops onto the bed. At this point Rafferty then places the gift bone on the bed closest to his favorite parent and nudges it to them.

These pictures show the nudging in action.

2014-06-06 23.01.242014-06-06 23.01.23 Then he receives lots of pets and scratches. Sometimes Rafferty keeps the Gift Bone all to himself. This usually happens if we’ve eaten something and didn’t share, or if we get in bed later than usual.

Rafferty likes to use the Gift Bone as a bargaining chip, too. If he’s ready for bedtime then he will present the Gift Bone to someone as if to say…here’s what I’ve got. Now, let’s go to bed.

If we don’t comply with his wishes, then he will sometimes take the Gift Bone and place it on our back porch. No one gets the Gift Bone. We are being punished.

As a matter of fact, while writing this very post, Rafferty headed to the bedroom and snagged his Gift Bone. He proceeded to lay down with it, right beside me. He didn’t give it to me, though, because he is ready to go to bed and we are not going to bed.  See below. I just took those pictures. Oh, Rafferty.

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Anyway, a few nights ago Rafferty played around outside by himself for a while and then came trotting inside and right to the couch. The boyfriend and I were lounging and watching tv and Rafferty put his front paws on the couch between us and opened his mouth. Out fell a bunch of leaves, a tiny bit of dirt, and…something else. Of course, our first thought was that Rafferty was giving someone his Gift Bone so that he could get some pets and scratches.

The boyfriend brushed the leaves aside and proceeded to discover a small piece of a turtle shell.

Now, I’m not sure why Rafferty chose to give us a turtle shell piece, and I’m also not sure where the turtle shell piece came from.  Although, it is interesting that he chose to give the turtle shell to the boyfriend, as the boyfriend calls his car The Turtle, he recently received a gift from his friend in the shape of a wooden turtle, and he has a tiny turtle on the dashboard of his car. What I’m getting at here is that if Rafferty was going to give one of us a piece of a turtle shell he chose correctly in giving it to the boyfriend. (Also it was gross. Sorry, Rafferty.)

But, let’s get back to where the shell piece came from. My most educated guess would be that since we recently raked the backyard a lot of treasures were burind under the leaves. Perhaps the piece of turtle was unearthed and Rafferty found it.

There’s a more bothersome theory, though. Despite being the most perfect and fluffy dog, Rafferty has the unfortunate habit of digging in any little piece of dirt he finds. Another proposition is that Rafferty was digging (secretly, of course, we do not condone this behavior) and perhaps dug up a turtle shell.

I can only hope that he dug up just a turtle shell, and not some unfortunate burial site for a pet turtle, because I cringe to think what else Rafferty may have had in his mouth besides the piece of shell. The boyfriend stated he checked all around the backyard and could not find any evidence of a turtle or any holes, so hopefully this digging scenario isn’t what happened.

I suppose it will remain a mystery where Rafferty found the piece of turtle shell, but he was quite proud to present it to the boyfriend. And…we are those parents, so, of course, we saved the piece of turtle shell.

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