A long time ago, we went to the adoption kennel searching for a new canine companion. I wanted a dog who could continue to do therapy work with me and that I would have a special bond with. We met about a dozen very sweet dogs, but I didn’t feel that special “click” with any of them and I was beginning to feel discouraged. At that point, the adoption coordinator offered to let me meet a young hound they had just gotten in a few days earlier and who they knew very little about.
I agreed to meet this last dog, realizing that my heart wasn’t going to be able to take meeting any more if this wasn’t the one. My heart was still shattered after losing my first heart dog and every one who wasn’t “the one” was a little harder to take. In walked this young, tiny little Greyhound who walked straight over to me, leaned against me and gazed up at me with the most beautiful pair of eyes I’ve ever seen on a dog. I was smitten from the beginning. Those eyes started a deep and abiding love that cherish every day.
Years later, those eyes are still her best weapon. Her fight isn’t one for equality or survival, though. Her struggle is to get what she wants, when she wants, without waiting for anything. When Bunny was younger, I was very insistent on good manners from her. I still am.
The problem is that my husband comes home for lunch almost every day during the week when I am not here. Bunny has trained him, using those eyes of hers, to give her part of his lunch. It started with the last bite, but now she expects to have the first bite, a few bites in between and the last bite. I can’t fight the battle because I’m not here when this goes on. I’m pretty sure that along with those eyes, she has some sort of Jedi mind control trick that she uses, too.
My husband, of course, denies that he does this. When he does it right in front of me over the weekend, however, it becomes a lot harder to continue the denials. As soon as food comes out, she’s got to find out what he has. She doesn’t bother my food, but his is fair game. I’m waiting for the day when I hear that she’s helped herself to his sandwich.
The truth is, though, as she gets older, it IS a lot harder to resist those eyes. I don’t give in to her on food, but I find myself giving in on other things. If she wants to go for a ride, I break down and let her ride along if I can. When she wants me to sit down and snuggle with her, I can’t refuse. One more belly rub in the morning is also something I just can’t say no to.
I had no idea way back in the beginning that those eyes were going to be what made us so weak for her, but I can’t be sorry about it. They also started us on a path that has made me grow a lot, taken me to all kinds of places and enriched my life. It’s funny how our first impressions change over time and what things we remember about our first meetings in life. It’s also amusing to see how those things change through time.