Have you noticed?

Last week as I was writing the blog, it was intense and all-consuming.  Trying to finish and put the final touches and photos together I was frequently interrupted.  While I was focused on the subject, every few seconds my arm was nudged, and I brushed it off trying to concentrate on my work.  Another nudge and I quickly looked and even had a scowl on my face I'm sure.   “What do you want,” I ask and as I turned and saw the most beautiful face staring back at me.  She was smiling and appeared to want something. 

My scowl quickly turned to understanding, knowing what she wanted, so I scratched her ears, but in a few seconds, she wanted more.  Nudging my arm again, I stopped typing and went to the edge of my seat giving her more room.  I knew it wasn’t enough, so I got out of the chair and sat in the middle of the floor.  As I sat down, she curled up in my lap looking up at me as she loved me in her own way, now she had what she wanted.  Tenderly pawing my face, she was communicating to me that she just needs some attention.  Once I changed my direction, I could see it, it was right there in front of me, we both were in heaven, and we both got what we needed.  How many times did I blow one of my dogs off or push them away, not angrily but just being too busy to notice?  I’m afraid to even think about that.

Since then, I have made a conscious effort to watch them as they interact with each other and to their needs.  They are all so different it’s sometimes comical.  At times they will check in with me just to make sure everything is alright and always help with the things I do.  This would include helping me tie my shoes, drying my legs off right after a shower, and helping with cleaning my plate, all of these things are important to them, but the most important thing they want is to be loved.
I know I’m guilty of this but how many times in a day do we have the opportunity to show them the affection they want and not give it to them.  As I was observing them a little closer, I was amazed by their needs and wants.  

While they are in their own world, they are genuinely devoted to making me the center of their attention and life.  This is always not the case with every dog.  Some are just the reverse and could care less about the needs of their master and will go in the opposite direction.  I think this may occur for several reasons, first, the upbringing of the pup and how it was raised.  Secondly and something I see all of the time is we humans are part of their pack.  In their world, nearly everything is “pack” orientated, even if there are no other dogs, only people.  In a pack, someone needs to be in charge, and it doesn't need to be the dog.  I believe they are more secure knowing who is in control and can relax and sit back knowing their station in life and thus pay attention and care for the pack leader even if it is a human.

Many times I know I’m guilty of not giving them what they want or need.  Thinking back, I see the thousands of times they ask me for attention sometimes they get it, and at times, they don’t.  I have learned to acknowledge their needs and even if it’s a brief ear scratch, rub on the head or full body and butt scratch.  It only takes a minute, and it means the world to them.  When Dutchess came to me last week, I was surprised at the amount of love she gave me not because she needed to, she wanted to.  Isn’t this what we really want in a dog?   Ken