Imagine a giant black puppy with a toy in her mouth running from the law (the other two dogs) and galloping back and forth across an expansive faux leather sectional couch, throwing her head around like a naughty filly – EQUINE Mode. This, in contrast to NINJA Mode where she grabs some contraband – toilet paper roll, garbage, sock, stuffed animal, whatever – and ducks her head down low as if that hides her whole self, and quietly shuffle-slunking out of the room, all the more quickly if you happen to notice the thievery. TODDLER Mode – when one dog has a bone or a toy and no OTHER bone or toy will do except the one the other dog has. Imagine flailing, wailing and gnashing of teeth. And whining. Lots of whining.
A subset of PLAY Mode is BUNNY Mode where the giant puppy hops up and down in short, successive bursts in an effort to either intimidate or kill with laughter. When she thinks we are not quick enough at feeding her, or if the giant puppy does not wish to accept our instruction – OUT of the kitchen, DON’T eat the other dog’s food, NO you can’t chew on the couch – she waggles her head like a teenager (TEEN Mode) and snuffle-snort-rumbles a verbal protest that sounds not unlike “No, Momma, no-no!” Often she curls up in dark spots and disappears. That’s CAMO Mode and we run around looking for her until she flops an ear or sighs in her sleep and we realize she was right next to us the whole time.