by Karen Duvall
We gave Kinsey a bad habit when she was a puppy. Bones. Not just a bone every now and then, but a bone every single night. When she was a wee puppy (almost 5 years ago), her energy level was through the roof. She needed constant attention and was so curious about everything that she was always getting into trouble. Solution? A nice juicy bone to occupy her time.
Her first pacifiers were chewy things for teething. She got rawhide this and that, those big yucky pig's ears, bull tendons, baked knuckle bones… Having that kind of stuff in the house is difficult for a vegetarian, but I figured it was for a good cause: my sanity. I had to keep my puppy satisfied or I'd never get any writing done.
Kinsey is all grown up now and her need for a pacifier is long over. However, she's a spoiled brat and she has my husband wrapped around her paw. "She likes her bones," he says. Our living room looks like a cattle graveyard.
The cats are disgusted with her bone habit, and quite frankly, so am I. Especially since Kinsey is obsessively protective of her collection.
Kinsey: Mine, mine, mine! Get away or I'll bite you.
Sammy: Rolls her eyes. Yeah, right. I have no interest in your slimy old bone anyway.
Kinsey: That's because you have no taste. They're delicious.
Sammy: They're disgusting.
Kinsey: Oh, yeah? I've seen Dad watch cooking shows on TV and the humans boil beef bones to make soup.
Sammy: Yawns. Chicken I may pay attention to, but cows? Narrows her eyes. You know, you kind of look like a cow. A Guernsey cow.
Kinsey: Growls. You're getting too close. Back away from my bone.
Sammy: Okay, okay. Sheesh. Paranoid much?
Kinsey: This bone is special. It's the same kind humans eat in those gourmet restaurants.
Sammy: Humans don't eat bones, they eat the meat on the bones. At least humans that eat meat do.
Kinsey: It's a shank bone with yummy marrow inside. Humans pay a lot of money for these.
Sammy: For dog bones? You're not serious.
Kinsey: I am serious. I heard Dad telling mom about it the other night. They scoop out the marrow with skinny spoons and spread it on bread. It's a delicacy.
Sammy: Walks by Kinsey and trips on an old bone sticking out from under the couch. Ouch! That thing's sharp. The least you can do is pick up after yourself.
Kinsey: Mom will do it.
Sammy: You're spoiled.
Kinsey: Am not.
Sammy: Are too.
Kinsey: My old bones are useful, you know. Dad puts them outside under the plants to keep the deer away.
Sammy: He uses bones as deer repellent?
Kinsey: Yep. So I'm helping out the family. That's more than I can say for you.
Sammy: Whatevs. I still think you're spoiled. I've seen dad smear peanut butter inside your empty bones just to get you to leave him alone when he doesn't want to play ball.
Kinsey: Grins. I do have my ways of getting what I want.
Sammy: Swipes a paw at Kinsey's face and hisses.
Kinsey: Cringes. Hey, what was that for?
Sammy: That was me getting what I want.
Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.
Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.