You know, sometimes you just can’t help but laugh at the proprietary nature of some dogs. If someone broke into our house, only one of our dogs would care. True, that one dog would probably be enough to scare off all but the hardiest or most foolhardy of souls, but the other three would either sleep through the escapade or possibly wag someone to death.
What I’m thinking about, however, is something a lot more subtle than a person or animal that intends to harm us. This is more about the small things our dogs do to let others know they’ve laid claim to us. These aren’t particularly overt actions, just small little things that they do to let others know that a person belongs to them. We’ve all experienced having our dog lean against us while we’re out and stop to talk to someone or had our dog curl up close to us on the couch or floor with a paw or head on our leg. It’s one of the reasons we fall in love with them so completely.
I’ve said many times that Bunny makes it clear in our house that I am hers. This isn’t something she has to prove to the other dogs, however. It’s always Mr. Taleteller that she is reminding. If he sits beside me on the couch, she won’t rest until she’s either between us or has succeeded in pushing him off. The bad part is that he gives in to her and this has her convinced that she is right in the way she thinks.
As it happens sometimes with couples, once in a while at night, someone gets…ideas. Since this is sometimes a family blog, we’ll leave it at that, but I am sure that most of you know what this means. Now, normally, some things can be planned ahead of time and dogs can be closed out of the bedroom. However, sometimes, one person gets a spontaneous idea and decides that maybe he will try to get something started. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, if one’s personal body guard isn’t curled up beside her trying to get her beauty sleep.
If you are curled up in bed, with your Greyhound guard curled up under her own personal quilt beside you, then things might not turn out as expected. Perhaps you’re tired and you tell a certain person to stop pestering you, trying to reach over the dog and tickle you and stop poking you. A wise person would decide to go to sleep and call it a night, but that doesn’t always happen.
After a few half-hearted attempts at telling someone that I was too far gone to sleep to be interested in his shenanigans, my body guard decided to take matters into her own hands. No doubt her own desire for sleep played into it as well. The next time he reached over, her head rose up out from under her blanket and she gave him a serious glare that said, “Not on my watch, mister!” He started laughing and retreated to his side of the bed and I started laughing as well. Satisfied that the hi jinks were over, Bunny curled her head back under her quilt without one whisker exposed to the cool night air, let out a sigh and went to sleep.
I don’t remember another dog we’ve ever had that was so particular about me since my very first dog. Snoopy was a Border Collie who kept tabs on me while I grew up on the farm. It’s often said that my mother never bothered calling my name if she wanted to know where I was. She called the dog and then headed in that direction to find me. No kid had a more devoted babysitter than I did growing up. I always thought she was unique in her devotion, but Bunny proves that it’s not as uncommon as I thought. It also makes me think that our dogs all have their own little ways of staking their claim that endear them to us. These are the little quirks that we miss the most when they leave us, but that make us so eager to get back home to them at the end of the day.