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“Dan no.” Phil protested, following him through the house. Dan was ignoring Phil while their 3-year-old ran around the living room, playing contently with the dog.

“Dan yes,” he stopped and turned to look at Phil. “He doesn’t like treats, peanut butter, whatever, so maybe cheese will help get him into the cage when we leave.”

Phil stared at Dan, horrified. “Dan we aren’t leaving our 3-year-old, alone, and in a damn cage!”

Standing there it took Dan a moment to register what Phil had just said. “I meant the dog you dumbass.”

“Oh.”

Dan cocked his brow, “What the hell do you think I’m up to with Maeve when you aren’t here?”

“Putting her in cages apparently.”

Muttering something under his breath, Dan went to the kitchen and Phil went back to the living where Maeve was running around. She was chasing Ash, their 4-year-old pug, around the room. He was barking ecstatically, happy to be chased by her almost. From the day they brought Maeve home from the hospital, Ash has always watched over her. He slept in her room, and now in her bed cuddled up next to her.

Ash, however, was a very hyperactive dog. He got excited and jumped up on people, often knocking Maeve over, but would then lick her face. Basically to say sorry in his way, but it made her laugh. Just when they were all out and about, Ash had somehow developed a habit of chewing things up.

Both Dan and Phil hated this. They had to put everything up when they left and sometimes even put a baby gate up so Ash couldn’t leave the room. When they were gone that is. Dan then ended up buying a cage to see if that would help, but Ash wouldn’t go in it. They had bought, more so Dan had bought a fancy dog bed for the inside of it. Phil just bought toys for Ash so hopefully he wouldn’t chew up the bed.

Dan came back in holding something and the smell of cheese hit Phil and he grimaced. He hated cheese and couldn’t even stand the smell of it.

“Maybe he likes cheese,” Dan said sitting on the living room floor. Instead of Ash running over, Maeve ran over and jumped on Dan and he chuckled. “Heya baby.”

“Can I have a bite?” Maeve asked looking at the cheese.

“It’s for Ash Maevey.”

She turned her head to Ash and giggled. “Ash bite.”

The small pug came running over as Phil moved to the couch to sit. Dan watched Ash before holding out a piece of cheese to him. He sniffed it, confused and Phil choked on a laugh.

“Even he thinks cheese is bad.”

Ash looked at Phil and then took the treat from Dan, who collapsed in a fit of laughter, Maeve following suit.

“This isn’t fair.”

“Nothing is ever fair to you Phil. Remember the gaming channel?”

Phil nodded and cracked a small smile before watching them. “See if he’ll go into the cage then.”

Dan moved Maeve, which she ran over to Phil and climbed on him. Dan gave Ash another piece of cheese, that he happily ate, so he went and placed a piece in the cage. Ash ran in after the cheese and ate it quickly and sat on his bed waiting for another piece.