Thursday, December 3, 2009

My dog is in love with my husband

It's not a secret in my house, but it's true.

My dog is in love with my husband.

He enjoys my stepson, and he loves me ... he's just not in love with me. He saves that hysterical, over-the-top passion for the hubs, and him alone.

Because Koa is a German Shepherd Dog, he manages to look dignified all the time. Every morning when he hears the hubs' alarm go off, I can hear the jingle-jangle of tags as the dog stretches and rises to greet the object of his affection with a lick.

He'll follow Matt around until he leaves for the gym, at which point it's become Koa's duty to curl up in the armchair closest to the garage door and wait for Lord and Master to come home.

All morning, Matt has a shadow. If he's having breakfast in the kitchen, Koa is lying down, head-on-paws, looking up at him. If he's in the shower, Koa is lying in the hallway, head-on-paws, waiting for him. If he's in the bathroom, Koa doesn't even bother to lay down. It's a dangerous room, with all that swirling water and washing, so Koa just stands at attention, nose pressed to the door, until Matt exits.

When I get up, I walk to the shower unaccompanied. I don't get my morning hello until I'm dressed and in the living room. If I sit on the couch, Koa will trot over and allow me to pet him for a few minutes. I imagine my greeting is something like this:

"Hey, person! Good morning. I hope you slept well. Now if you'll excuse me, HE is walking down the hall and I must follow. But it's lovely to see you."

After Matt leaves for the day, Koa gives a giant sigh and returns to his chair by the door.

"He's gone. Again. Guess I'll just curl up and wait for him."

He doesn't follow me to the kitchen, as I eat my breakfast; or to the bathroom, when I'm putting my makeup on even though I use the very dangerous loud air blowing machine on my fur.

If I make noise reentering the living room, he'll turn his head to look at me.

"Oh. It's you. Hello. I thought it might have been him. Do you know when he's coming back?"

He accepts a quick caress from me when I leave, but then goes back to resting his chin on the arm of the chair.

When I come home about 15 minutes before Matt, I can only assume he hasn't left the chair all day, as I catch him stretching getting out of it. I get a friendly greeting.

"Hey, person! I missed you today! Can we go outside and play? Oh, he's not with you? That's OK, we can play until he gets home, can't we? Aren't you ready to go outside? Aren't you? Aren't you?"

Usually, though, I have to make a quick turn in the house to make sure the dishwasher is unloaded, dishes are put away and the kitchen is clean enough for dinner prep. Koa just lays outside, head on paws, watching me and making sure I can see the whites of his eyes.

"Don't you love me? Why won't you play with me?"

When I'm finished with my chores, I go out and throw the ball around. He runs and fetches, chases and leaps away, and general merriment is had by all. But when the door to the garage opens again, it's a whole different proposition as he drops whatever he's doing to bolt toward his One and Only.

"YOU'RE HOME! I've been waiting for you ALL DAY! I missed you! Did you miss me?! I bet you did! Oh, I love you I love you I love you!!! Come on! Let's go play!! Comeoncomeoncomeoncomeon!!! YOU'RE HOOOOOMMMMEEE!"

And the shadowing continues. If Koa gets stuck outside while Matt is inside, he paces the sliding glass door, following him with his eyes.

If Matt goes outside and Koa is inside, just one small whine will escape his control before he makes the rounds of every door and window in the joint to make sure nothing bad has happened while the trash gets taken out.

Matt walks him after we all eat, and in the meantime I get dinner cleaned up and climb into bed. Every night, without fail, my dignified dog comes straight to me after the walk.

"Hello, person," he seems to say, offering me his neck for a scratch. "I just wanted to make sure you got settled in OK. HE is inside, and I know he's fine. Do you need anything? OK, then. Have a good night's sleep. I'll see you in the morning. Don't worry about HIM, by the way. I've got that covered."
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