Barkleah was released from his cone after two very long weeks. Although he never complained about the soft collar, it became apparent when we removed it, that he’d thought it was to be a part of his life forever. If a dog could smile, he did.
As the collar fell to the floor, his coal-black eyes gazed up at us. Then he jumped up as if preforming a jig, raced out of the room, and ran through the house, tail wagging. Then he returned to offer us the “Play-bow” , and jumped into my arms. Yes, I would say he was pretty happy to be a free little man.
Now with total independence, he is testing his boundaries. Due to his propensity to cancer, he must wear sunscreen when he is outside or stay in the shade. Barkleah considers any scented product to be poison. If he sees the sunscreen in my hands, he runs under the bed and refuses to come out, not even for a treat. So he has supervised trips outside. If you turn your back, he will race into the grass and flop down for a quick sunshine fix. He understands this is not good for him, but he insists it is a compulsion.
Given the command to go lay on his dog bed, He slowly drags himself into the shade. It becomes apparent his plan is to wait for escape. He has turned us into the secret police.
He is also focused on regaining his position as top dog in our home. Since he is the only dog we have now, Bill and I are the target of his domination. He favors one technique for all of his desires. His STARE. He stands on his back feet, leans his round tummy against my leg, and gazes into my eyes. HIs eye Contac is perfect. He does not look away until I say, “”Okay. Show me.” Then he turns and leads me to the desire of his heart. It can be a trip to the cookie jar, a path to the Greenies, or a hopeful request for a walk by racing to the hall where his leash hangs.
Yes, you might say I have given in to his demands. You would be right. He sleeps in our bed, eats before we do, and gets treats for doing almost anything. But in return, we receive unconditional love from the most charming and amusing clown in all of Oklahoma. Bill and I feel like we are the real winners in this relationship.
Do you ever find yourself spoiling your pet?