by jkatejohnston

16 October 2018

Dear Max,

They played!

D-Day was playing with his toys in the living room, mostly Enzo’s old stuffed animals from the basement. Colin came over and took a big stuffed squid, lay down with it between his paws and began ripping its fabric beak off and then methodically pulling out the stuffing, as if to say, “Play on, young pup, but this is how it’s done.” D-Day doesn’t have the jaws yet to properly dismember a squid.

D-Day watched and pranced around and play-bowed and took some tentacles in his mouth and generally tried to get into the act. Colin warned him off a few times, but he didn’t just take the squid and leave either. And Colin never plays with toys. He doesn’t give a hoot about a squid. It was all an elaborate overture, accompanied by a great show of reluctance, like “I might play with you—but let’s see what you’ve got.”

D-Day kept at him, rearing up boldly, batting at him, pulling on the squid. Colin’s quick snarls seemed terribly convincing to me, and if Teresa hadn’t been there I would have stopped it. She said, “If Colin wanted to kill him, he would have done it a long time ago. It’s an invitation.”

And then, I can’t even say how the change happened, the squid was forgotten and they were playing, both of them. At times, D-Day’s entire head was in Colin’s mouth. Other times, Colin was on the floor and his entire head was obscured by D-Day’s flung body. D-Day got tumbled every which way. They bowed and jumped and batted.

Teresa and I watched, almost holding our breaths, glancing at each other now and then, like, It’s happening!

After a while, we tried to figure out how to shoot video on our phones, but quickly abandoned that distraction and just watched. After the show was over, in lieu of five-hundred million dollars, Teresa gave Colin a big bone from the freezer. D-Day staggered to his crate and slept for two hours.