This week we got a great reminder of how our dogs take care of us. Hope was “down for the count” – about 36 hours with fever, chills, nausea, and a blinding headache. The worst part? She couldn’t even call in sick – it happened on her day off.
Fran was a bit concerned. Dealing with four dogs, two of them absolute nut-jobs (the Boston Terriers, of course!), when you’re not feeling well sounds like a bit much. She shouldn’t have worried. It’s like the dogs have a supernatural sense of what we need from them.
When we can cope with the nuttiness, they’re goofballs. When we can’t, they rise to the occasion. This week they cuddled the whole time – no playing “bitey-face,” or wrestling. Simon didn’t even bat at Tango’s beard to aggravate him. Okay, that’s a lie. He did it once, but it was half-hearted at best.
Dogs take care of us
Hope shifted between a couple of sick-beds – one the couch in the family room and the other her actual bed. She’s never actually hosted all four dogs at night, so the bedroom didn’t work out so well. Fortunately, she falls asleep on the couch in the family room on a regular basis, so the dogs all know their cuddle spots.
Torque, Hope’s 6-year-old French Bulldog, prefers knees. Whether resting his head on them or curled up behind them doesn’t seem to matter. He’s equally content. And once he settles, there’s not much that gets him moving, other than the promise of treats. He may look up if you ask him if he wants to go outside, but he may not, too.
Tango (Fran’s 12-year old Brussels Griffon) isn’t an in-touch guy. He wants to be near, but needs his own space. And it has to be long enough for him to stretch out – none of this curling-up nonsense for Tango!
Then we come to the Bostons. We’ve mentioned before how “special” Booker is. Life is difficult for Bookie, so we try to keep his routine as predictable as possible. This occasion was extremely routine-disruptive, but Fran’s 8-year-old boy outdid himself. He was only incredibly annoying once!
Incredibly annoying in Booker terms, consists of sitting immediately next to you on the couch, facing you, staring into your face, and if you’re not petting him, pawing (clawing) at your arm. As dog trainers, we know how to stop the behavior. We’ve taught Booker the word “Relax!” which means he’s supposed to lie down next to us, paws to himself, and we will pet him. To explain how “special” Booker is, we have to reteach him this behavior every single day. Multiple times each day. Yesterday, we only went through it once! Good boy, Booker!
And then there’s Simon
Simon is a two-year-old Boston Terrier. He’s astonishingly smart, incredibly headstrong, sweet when he wants to be, and supremely selfish. Simon wants what he wants when he wants it, and he doesn’t want anyone getting in his way.
And yet. This week Simon curled up nicely next to the patient, sighed sweetly, and napped most of the day. And that’s how our wonderful dogs take care of us.