Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Comfort of Canine Companionship

Today has been a very stormy day. The skies have been blue one moment and then an ominous grey the next. We’ve already had hail and as I look outside, it seems as though the skies are preparing for more.

When it gets grey and stormy, it’s hard to believe that just a few hours before I was sitting outside with the pups at lunchtime, throwing little rocks down the sewer drain so Rory could hear them splash. She’s a smart dog. She’s got to the point where she now tries to take the stick or rock from my hand and drop it herself. I’m still not sure what her fascination is but it’s very cute.

Sometimes, I think I might find my dogs too cute. I feel like I’m one of those mothers who when they’re asked politely about their kids, whips out her phone and shows pictures. I don’t always do that with the girls but I have done it before. It’s just that they are my furry babies and we have a nice little family unit going on together. We have our routines. If we veer from our routine, the pups sulk. Both dogs have a very specific way of sulking. Rory will go in her crate and bury under a blanket. Our issue can only be resolved by my laying on my stomach, putting my head in the crate and making a fuss of her. Yes, this may seem a little silly. Yes, I stick my head in the crate while laying on my stomach more often than I’d like to admit. It does the trick and usually, Rory forgives me.

Sookie’s method of sulking is to cast me a hurt look and then sit with her back to me. She refuses to look at me and when I pet her, she pulls away. She likes to drag it out. Whatever crime I’ve commited against her to cause her to sulk is heinous enough that it takes a while for her to forgive and forget. Unlike Rory who can usually be appeased by a hug and a treat, Sookie will not surrender to the power of a treat at all. She will forgive me when she’s ready.

I have rather sensitive dogs. I find it a constant juggling act to make sure that I don’t spend too much time fussing over one of the girls and not the other. If I do, this will inevitably lead to sulking.

In the evenings, Sookie and I are tend to be quite mellow. By 9 p.m., we can both usually be found sitting on the couch either watching TV or reading. Well, I watch TV or read. Sookie is smart but she hasn’t developed the ability to read yet. That would be very cool, however.

Anyway, while we’re sitting calmly, Rory is not ready to relax. She’s still in full “play” mode. She has taken to lying on the floor, staring at me with a mix of curiousity and defiance as if to say, “What on EARTH are you doing? It’s not time to sit! You must PLAY! WITH ME!”

If I don’t pay any attention to this look, the barking begins. It starts with one little yip. Then if Sookie and I both continue to ignore her, Rory ramps up her efforts and she becomes far more persistent. Usually, I end up playing with her for a few minutes and Sookie will join me. My prime directive is actually to get the girls to play together so I can go back to my book. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I probably shouldn’t give in to a dog so easily but Rory is hard to ignore. She’s a very good communicator and I can always tell what she wants. I’m not sure if that’s good or not, honestly. I love that she’s so intelligent although at times, I have to be careful. For example, if I’m not planning on taking a walk with them because it’s raining and it’s coming close to the time we normally go, I can’t say the word “Walk.” If I’m talking to someone on the phone, I have to spell the word out. Fortunately, Rory has not yet learned to spell.

It’s not that Sookie isn’t bright. She is. She’s got her own methods of being annoyingly intelligent. For example, if I’m bathing Rory and her turn is next, she’s found a new hiding place of getting up on the bed and hiding under the covers. The first time she did this, it took me a while to find her. She’s also a very good alert system and she warns me of any intruders.

It’s interesting. I probably spend far too much time with my dogs. I know them so well. They also know me. Sookie is very good at knowing when I’m feeling blue and she becomes my ‘teddy bear dog’ and likes to cuddle with me on my lap. There’s something to be said for canine companionship.

I admit, I probably talk/blog about my dogs too much. I used to get annoyed at people who were parents who did nothing but talk about their kids. Yet I can see how it’s easy to do.

Life is much more fun when you get to share it with someone or some dog. Even the small things make it entertaining.

Even when it’s something as simple as throwing rocks down a sewer drain to hear them splash.

Happy Thursday (and thanks for reading about my dogs!)

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