Jana Plays to Her Audience

Jana has been very playful lately. While she’s the park policedog, barking at any younger dogs who get too carried away having fun and being rambunctious, she’s more relaxed at home.

I don’t know if the cooler weather has anything to do with her increased playfulness or she’s just feeling good. She often picks up a rope toy and asks for a game of tug or just grabs a favorite toy and plays with it.

A long time ago, she had a “Gefilte Fish” toy that would sigh, “Oy Vey!” and then make a bubbling sound whenever she squeezed it. It never failed to elicit a laugh from me, and she got in the habit of getting the toy, standing near me, and Oy Vey-ing away. She’d squeeze, I’d laugh on cue, and she’d do a delighted little prance. After about 15 seconds, the fish would stop burbling, and she’d look at me and do it again. And again. Over and over some days, just to make me laugh.

She was only about 2, and I think that is when I discovered that Jana has a silly sense of humor.

That sense of humor is evident in her recent game with the glowing ball that Deni sent for Hanukkah. The ball flashes red for a few seconds if it is bounced on the floor.

When she’s not playing tug, Jana is likely to dig through the toy basket for the glowy ball, bounce it, then roll it around in her mouth. She looks like a fire-breathing golden retriever. Since she thinks she’s a princess, I laugh and call her a fire-breathing princess. And this antic always gets a laugh. She really does play to her audience.

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