partners in chaos

Harvey and Rascal have kind of an ambiguous relationship. When he was our only dependent, Rascal was used to nothing but doting care; Harvey's attention is much more of a mixed blessing for the dog. Now that Harvey can run, after a fashion, a new phase has opened up in their interaction. Harvey chases Rascal around the house, which he doesn't like, but he also chases him around outside, which is much more to his taste. There's also the fact that Harvey can open doors; a few days ago, as I was struggling to get the chickens inside, I heard H call from the porch, "Rascal's comin outside!" Thanks, kid.

Twice in the last few days they've managed an even more impressive feat. The yard is now all fenced in, which is why I can be so blasé about Harvey letting Rascal out whenever he feels like, but we do prefer that both of them stay inside the fence. Two days ago and again today they got under the front porch through the open panel inside the fence, which is fine—nice and cool under there—but less fine is that Harvey opened up the lattice on the other side and let the dog out. Rascal was, I'm sure, very grateful, and showed by running all around the neighbors' houses.

On his first attempt Harvey didn't even manage to get out himself: he got one foot through but then the lattice snapped back and he was trapped for who knows how long before we happened to look for him. "I'm stuck!" he said, with some equanimity. After I freed him I made sure to send him back the way he came. He learned from that effort, because today they both got out without a problem and when we looked for them we were surprised to see Harvey sitting calmly on the front steps as Rascal investigated our neighbor's garage.

But they're not in any way fast friends, which I suppose is a good thing. Harvey can get at just about all the food in the kitchen, and he knows that Rascal wishes he could do likewise; if they were really in cahoots we'd have no more bread or cheese or peanuts and sick dog. It just happens that sometimes their interests align. Too bad for us they are both mostly interested in chaos. I don't have any hope for Rascal in this regard, but when do kids start wanting to clean up?