Our two dogs have a number of chew toys. Occasionally we will buy them something nicer, an antler perhaps, to chew on. Their breed does a lot of chewing and they have powerful jaws so antlers are the choice du jour.

There are two dogs, so we buy two small antler (parts, it’s not a full on antler getting thrown about the living room!), so they each have one. Of course that’s not how it works.

How it works is that, for some reason or another, one of the antlers is deemed the favourite and then they spend hour after hour trying to trick each other into giving it up.

Dave usually gets first shot at it as he is the one who chews the most, which means Sasha then spends her time picking up all the other toys and nudging Dave to get him to play. As soon as Dave drops the antler to start playing with Sasha, she quickly shakes him off, grabs the antler and runs off.

Every time.

And then, despite the fact that Dave is a far bit bigger and stronger than Sasha and could, quite easily if he wanted, get it back from her, he doesn’t. He just stands about a metre away from her and whines. And whines, and whines, and slowly works up to a full bark.

Which, of course means, that we need to intervene, retrieve said antler from Sasha, distract her by getting her up on to the sofa for cuddles, so Dave can be left in peace to chew his favourite antler.

Repeat. At least three or four times a night.

It’s all part of how they play and interact, and this little game, once you learn it, has tactics and strategies and different outcomes depending on what pieces are in play. It can be quite complex for something that is driven by base instinct.

I’m not that into games myself, certainly nothing in depth. I have a Playstation 4 but tend to only play sports games; football (soccer), racing, beat ’em ups, nothing that requires a deep level of knowledge to pick up and start playing as my motivation for play games is never to learn something new, it’s to distract myself and let my brain relax a bit.

I think that’s why I’ve never gotten into games like Call of Duty, and it’s certainly why the more involved board games leave me a bit bored. All those rules!

I don’t think it’s just instant gratification that I seek either, I have a few games on my phone and they mostly get played during my commute on the way home, a way to decompress with some mindless nonsense.

Which I guess is all part of gaming oneself, literally using games to reset my mood and my emotions, to give myself a time to relax a little. It usually works, although sometimes a little too well when a ‘quick game’ turns into a couple of hours but then isn’t that the point, a game should be something that’s fun, something that you enjoy, and if time isn’t flying when you are playing your favourite game then maybe it’s time to find another?