As you get to know your dog, you sometimes discover new quirks and peccadilloes that will amuse you. Well, sometimes they might annoy you, too, but I’m guessing that most of the people who read the blog are as in love with their dogs as we are with ours, so it’s more likely that you just laugh. In our case, part of the reason we laugh is because Flattery has a way of making everybody else laugh with it, so it’s easier to just be entertained.
When we visit the nursing home, Mr. Taleteller and I often laugh about a certain habit Flattery has. If she feels that we’ve been standing in one place talking to someone for too long, she will just lay down in the middle of the floor and make herself comfortable. There’s no guilt about it. She doesn’t do it to make us feel bad, she just doesn’t believe in standing in one place for too long.
She’s actually a very good nursing home visitor. She has learned to resist the tennis balls on the feet of the residents’ walkers and even walks past the bird cage without a second glance. She is not shy about going up to greet people in the least and she’s just as comfortable with the very young as she is with the elderly. If I can get her trained to reliably sit on command and develop a rock solid leave it, I hope to take the TDI test with her one of these days.
In any event, she’s a wonderful social butterfly, but once Flattery has said all she has to say to you, she is ready to move on and greet the next person. There’s no offense intended, she just has a lot of people to see and there’s only one of her to go around. After she’s exchanged pleasantries, she needs to lay down and take a load off. I’ve tried convincing her that she should stay standing, but it hasn’t gone very far.
Me: Flattery, stand up! People want to see you.
Flattery: They can see me from here.
Me: It’s not the same. They might want to pet you.
Flattery: If they wanted to pet me, they wouldn’t be talking to you.
Me: They really don’t care about me. They want to meet you!
Flattery: I can’t maintain this level of happy greeting indefinitely. I have to conserve energy so I can greet the next person as enthusiastically as I greeted the ones before.
Me: Are you kidding me?
Flattery: Maybe so, maybe no, but you’ll never know!
Me: It looks bad!
Flattery: I look good from any angle!
It’s hard to argue with that logic. As long as she’s not getting into mischief, I suppose it’s better to let her lay down and rest anyway. The coup de grace, however, is when it’s time to move on. Flattery absolutely, positively is not getting up until she is certain that you are really moving on and going to the next place. Trying to get her up and moving again provides a great deal of amusement for the nursing home residents, however, so I guess it’s not all bad. It’s also not bad to have a dog who can make herself comfortable anywhere. I’ve seen her lay down on a gravel path while Mr. Taleteller was taking pictures of wildflowers during a hike, in the middle of a store and on a concrete slab. There is no place that it too uncomfortable for her. Bunny wouldn’t dream of laying down on the ground like a common dog, so Flattery’s behavior surprises and impresses me. She’s a girl who marches to the beat of her own drummer and I love her for that.
The truth is, I admire her ability to be so comfortable in any situation. It’s much more difficult for me to do that in any situation, especially when there are others that I don’t know around. Flattery doesn’t worry a whit if she impresses them or not. Too often, I find myself trying to stand up straight for other people, when I’d really rather lay down on the floor, although I doubt I’d look as ladylike as Flattery does if I did. Still, she’s a good reminder for me to what feels right for me instead of what works for everyone else.