Steve's puppy is in love with his shield. She insists on sleeping in it, eating out of it, and is not impressed when Steve tries to swap in a replica to fool her.
Tabitha was tiny and black and white with a little black spot around one eye and Sam took one look at her and joked that she had the same worried crease between her eyes that Steve did.
He’d adopted her from down South, a pit mix of some kind that was attentive and sweet. And curious. Snuffling around his gear and when she tipped his shield over on accident she went scurrying away, only to creep back when it didn’t chase her and nose at it until she realized it was perfect for a rocking-bed.
Steve took approximately 300 pictures and decided there was no harm in letting her doze in his shield while he set up her bed and bowls and toys and made sure he’d puppy-proofed everything.
Only that wasn’t the end of it. A week later, and she was still nudging it with her nose until it tipped over and snuggled in for the night every night. He’d given her a meat bone earlier in the day and she’d trotted off with it, tail high, to curl up in his shield and chew on it.
It was on his next mission he decided things had to change. The fur could be easily brushed away and the bone bits washed off, but the leather straps had little teeth marks in them that would soon be big teeth marks and Steve realized he might have encouraged a bad habit without meaning to because it happened to be cute.
So he bought her one of the plastic replicas he found on Amazon and set it on the floor for her. She was interested at first but had barely gotten a paw in it before she pulled back and left it for his actual shield. He put treats in it and tried redirection and she kept stubbornly (like you, Sam smirked as he filmed some of Steve’s unsuccessful retraining) refusing to use the plastic shield.
He went on Etsy and bought a cosplay replica that was an impressive facsimile. So good, Tabitha laid down in it.
For five minutes.
It was Clint who finally fixed everything, sending T’Challa a series of photos and a note that simply read “a little help?”.
A week after that, a package arrived from Wakanda. Inside, a perfect replica of Steve’s shield in pink, white, and blue with “Tabitha America” painted on it and half-dozen leather straps for her to chew.