Above: A boy and his dog.
One day in the last week (okay, pretty much ANY day of ANY week), our dog, Remy, planted himself in front of my husband and lowered his head.
This is universally accepted Dog Language for one of the following:
“Please scratch my ears.”
“Please pay attention to me.”
“Please love me.”
“I love you—don’t ever leave me or I’ll crumble into a million little pieces.”
“Why won’t this dog leave me alone” complained my husband (fooling absolutely no one—most of all, his wife, from whom he STOLE the dog by bribing him with bacon and head scratches.)
“Don’t you remember? He came with a label,” I reply, reminding him what the breeder told me about Welsh Springer Spaniels, “He’s a Velcro Dog.”
Yes—Remy is a Velcro Dog of the first order. He sticks to you. Glue’s got nothing on him.
The moment my husband raises a foot off the floor, his dog is up. “Where’re you going? What’s going on? Are we going for a walk? Is there bacon in my future?”
When my husband leaves the house to go to work, Remy, having seen his owner off at the door and run to the front window to watch the car drive away, then goes to my husband’s spot on the couch and curls up. I assume to soak up any molecules that remind him of the man he worships.
I’m the designated disciplinarian in the house. When he wants the dog to listen to him, my husband will call out this warning, “Remy—you’d better come in the house right now—or Mama will be mad!”
And Remy comes running. Because… I’m Bad Cop.
I’m proud to say I’ve earned my reputation, just as my husband has earned his as the unconditional giver of head scratches and bacon. (Or dried pig ears in a pinch.)
Remy sits at our feet while we eat dinner to beg for food. Note the difference in how my husband and I approach Dog Discipline:
My Husband: “Come on, buddy. Lie down. Be a good boy.” (Dog remains standing, gambling that no matter what my husband says, steak/salmon/scrambled eggs or… bacon are in his immediate future.)
Me: (Pointing finger at the ground). “DOWN.” (Dog lies down as though giant magnet has pulled him there.)
Is it wrong that I envy my dog the undying devotion of my husband?
Before you judge, there have literally been times when my husband has said, “Hello, beautiful,” and I’ve asked in all seriousness, “Who are you talking to?”
“I think you’re beautiful, too,” he answers evasively.
Who’s the one getting table scraps now?
Remy, helping me write. And not at all hoping for a piece of the cookie.