Earlier this week, I took Flattery out with me to take pictures at a spot that I’d seen and was dying to take photos at. It’s not in the best part of town, and I was hoping I could get my husband to go along with us, but that wasn’t happening. I brewed and stewed about it, and then loaded the girls up and went off to take my pictures anyway. I am glad that I did, because I was really happy with the results. More than that, though, I was really happy with how Flattery worked for me in a situation that I wasn’t certain about where it was just the two of us, being partners in crime.
I started thinking about it some later as I was working on the pictures. We’d certainly had a little adventure taking them, and it was just Flattery and I doing the photos. I feel like she and I finally have our own defined relationship, which is different from what I’ve had before. Maybe that’s why it took me longer to realize it.
With Bunny, I have long felt that we have a tight bond. It’s uncanny how she seems to read my mind and know what I’m thinking and what I want. I think that’s part of the magic in the photos that I take of her. She has this knack for anticipating what I want and giving it to me when we take pictures, sometimes before I even know that I want her to do it. If I were asked to describe her, Bunny really is like a regal little princess. She’s a golden girl and just too good for words most of the time. That’s not to say that she’s never bad, because she is at times, but it seems almost wrong to talk about it when she is, and her misdeeds are on a very small scale compared to, ahem, other dogs.
I had a similar relationship with Treat, our first Greyhound. She and I had such a strong partnership that she felt like an extension of my arm. There was nothing common about her and I loved her to bits. I always knew she’d make a fantastic diva when she became a senior dog, but I never really got to experience that with her. She always acted so young and outgoing and was the first one to want to go if the opportunity came up. Every evening, regardless of weather, she insistently reminded me that it was time to take a walk. When she passed away, much too soon, I actually felt like an amputee. That ever present extension of my arm was gone.
Now, I’ve been working things out with Flattery. Most of you know that she has a streak of mischief a mile wide. She doesn’t get into trouble to be malicious, it’s more like it just happens to her. Flattery believes that life is for the living, and she’s not missing out on any of it. If the mood strikes her to do something, then she does it. Figuring out what happens next can be worried about later. My partnership with her is more like being partners in crime than making a public appearance with canine royalty, and I’m finding out that I like it.
Going out somewhere with Flattery is an adventure because she makes it an adventure. Wherever she goes, she still sees magic and wonder in the world. It’s been four years ago today that she came into our lives like a little whirlwind and she’s as curious and inquisitive today as she was the first day we brought her home. She is intensely affectionate and will not be denied from sharing her love with you. Nothing scares her for more than a second and her confidence is amazing. Persistence is her middle name and if she wants something, you may as well give in, because she will find a way to get it.
Every dog brings their own spirit to their relationship with you. I think one of the most challenging and rewarding things about living with dogs is learning to adapt to that fact. It’s not a relationship that is just about you. I spend more time trying to figure out what motivates my dogs than I do with people, and yet, I also feel that my dogs understand me better than most people do. Whatever your relationship is with your dog, it’s usually one of the most constant things in your life. This relationship is different for me than any I’ve had with another dog, but I’m finding more and more how much I love it.