My Smart Puppy

with Dog Expert, Sarah Wilson

To Gollum; Dogs Who Covet

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Gollum: verb
To obsessively and compulsively covet without the ability to enjoy that which you covet.
Derived from: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

Pip gollums toys in her crate. Every week or so, whenever I notice that her private stash in the back of her plastic kennel has grown so large that she is forced to sleep pressed up against the gate, I get down on my hands and knees to unload her wares. Here is a list of her most recent collection:

3 stainless steel bowls
3 Kongs
1 Kong-like toy
1 Twist ‘n Treat
1 Everlasting Fun Ball
1 Bad Cuz toy (dehorned by one dog or another)
1 fleece off a small Wubba Toy
1 hard Nylabone (only sort we use)
1 sterilized bone
1 Everlasting Fire Plug (with a thin ring of treat still left)

Note that food (something Pip enjoys at all times, in all forms, in any amount) remains in the fire plug. That proves golluming. If this was out in the livingroom, she would make short work of any deliciousness available, but once it is in her hide away, she cannot. All she can then do is watch over it, lie in front of it, ward it from imagined dangers.

Note also how many toys can be AWOL without us noticing, which means we have a lot of dog paraphernalia around. It’s an occupational hazard. So golluming is not a response to scarcity, nor is it because there is household tension over stuff. Around here there is always something for a dog to play with. My other dogs could care less about who has what. Only Pip cares. And she cares all the time. If I allowed it, it would take up her entire day.

And that’s the thing about golluming anything: it’s an inside job. The succinct definition is anytime the item owns the owner you have golluming. Pip gollums.

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