I have always had dogs, often more then one at a time. As such, I have had a lot of time to observe them and come to understand them better. There is a oneness between us. Mostly because I have come to appreciate who they are and how they act.
If you are a dog (or cat) person, you develop another sense that places you on more of a common plain. For instance I have spent a lot of time teaching them to go to the door to let me know when they want to go out. However, instead, they just sit there and stare at me, and I know. When it is time to eat, they just sit there and stare at me, and I know. And when they want to play, they will sit there and stare at me, and I know. As you can see, obedience wasn’t learned over night. It took a lot of trial and error before I got it.
There are other traits I see that run a little deeper. For instance, Scooter, my cocker spaniel is a talker. He makes these little whimpering noises while carrying around his favorite squeaky toy. He talks to it all the time. But on occasion he will whimper because he hurt himself and instantly Sophie, our resident flower child terrier mix will appear to assure that he is all right. I used to wonder “how does she know” until I realized, I knew it too.
Once I determined that we were all on the same wave length (theirs) things began to get a lot easier. Scooter now lets me sit in “our” recliner. Sophie lets me scratch her stomach for extended periods of time, and both let me know when it is time for me to go to bed. And, it doesn’t stop there.
They take me for my walk every day. I am tethered to one end of a leash and we go, well, wherever they decide. They allow me to slip them doggie treats. They accompany me to the vets to provide me moral support. And, they tolerate scheduled grooming’s in return for additional attention and admiration.
But in fairness, I have to also mention some good points. They never get mad at me, although I have been on the receiving end of some furtive glances. They are always glad to see me, even if I have only been in the yard for a while. And, when I am down or not feeling well, they hang around a lot more to let me know they are there for me.
All in all, our relationship is much more amicable then those I have had with some humans. Maybe it’s because they can’t talk, verbally at least. Perhaps that is the common denominator. I do know that, over the years, there have been people I liked a lot more before they opened their mouth. Dogs say everything that needs to be said by their actions. You just have to pay attention, something we probably don’t do enough of with each other.
So I will continue to observe my canine buddies and try to display more of the traits (and qualities) they have taught me. As someone once said, “I want to be the guy my dog thinks I am.” To date, I am happy to report that I have successfully resisted the impulse to chase cars or bark at my neighbors, however, a couple of days ago, I did catch myself turning around a couple of times before sitting down.