Bailey wiggled and whined when I entered her kennel, a behavior I have not seen before. She looked at me, LOOKED AT ME, making a connection where before she just kind of stared around at anything else except who was at the other end of her leash. Hmmm.
I fetched Bailey from RBARI this morning after seeing her briefly yesterday when I went to walk other dogs: Old Man Wolf, a 10 year old collie/husky mix with an enormous head and bigger heart. Played with Jack Russell/Schnauzer “Toby,” who is all about fun-fun-fun!!! and can manage a good sit before you even ask for it. Alfie, the gentle lab cross, dozed in her kennel but was happy to go for a walk, and Jenna, a 5 year-old Doberman seemed glad, if confused, to be roaming the grounds of a shelter when she used to be living in her former owner’s home before a baby arrived.
I drove her up to Ringwood Manor to walk the paved road where cars were few and far between. We strolled past dozens of families, men and women of all ages with dogs and laughing kids and everyone HUNGRY for this sunny day; cold be damned! I pointed out the courting Titmice and teasing crows wafting from branch to branch, the Turkey Vultures vaulting across the blue sky, a hunting Red-tailed Hawk. Bailey could not have cared less. Nor did she notice my frustration when she yanked at the end of the leash at the very second I tried to take a photo of a Wood Duck. Oh well….
Back to the parking lot for a break, we hopped into the back of the Subaru Wagon to snack on desiccated liver treats and an apple. I stretched my legs out at the end of the wagon bed and the dog sat next to me. The sun stroked us as we watched the people and kids and dogs stroll by. After awhile, Bailey did something else she has not done before. She lifted her right front paw and scratched at my legs. Surprised, I looked at her but said nothing. She glanced at me, sort of sideways, and then pawed again, as if testing the waters. Then, with no further ado, she left that paw on my leg, carefully placed the other one next to it, heaved a gentle sigh, and laid down in my lap, as if to say: I have been wanting to do this for a long, long time.