Today I spent some time sitting with Tess on the floor of our living room. I’ve become incredibly slow moving, and getting down to the floor is not something I do frequently now. Maybe once a day for yoga or when I cuddle Tess. Today was no exception…
She had discovered some slippery fresh green horse poo yesterday and was wearing this fashionable new scent with great pride as I dropped her off at Mike’s mum (we’re still waiting to hear from the property owner if she can stay with us permanently) at the end of our daily walk. Before letting her wander the home after our walk back today, I was keen to have a much nicer smelling dog in my company.
I managed to lift her (barely!) and chuck her into the shower for a quick wash – thankfully we have a hose that extends down so it was really a quick job and she was back out in the sunshine before she realised what had happened.
Back to sitting on the living room floor, Tess had dried out in the early autumn sun and was smelling fresh like orange zest.
She was taught at a young age that a snap of the fingers meant to sit, and that if I waved my arms in a flat line parallel to the ground that was the signal for lay down. I snapped my finger and she obediently sat down and faced me only inches from my face. Her little brown eyes pleading with me for a cuddle. In response, I stroked her long nose and repeatedly let my hands linger over her velvety soft ears.
Her right little paw shot up and touched my forearm when I stopped petting her. So I took this as the signal to continue the nose and ear petting. Her paw shot up again.
And again. And again, and again, and again and again and again and again…
I realised then that I’d only asked her once to sit. And yet she had “asked me” about 10 times to do what she wanted and I obeyed each time, without fail.
I think Tess might be smarter than I am, and basically I am here to please her (mostly).