Who’s Leading Whom?

Written 6/23/10

Parker has always been one of those Newfs who likes to carry things.  It gives him delight, and he shows his pride through his expression and his posture.  He’s been in a very good mood yesterday and today, and as you know, when a Newf shares their joy, it brightens everything.

Monday night was less than joyous, though.  Greg went out of town, and since he hadn’t been traveling as much for a while, Parker seemed to have lost touch with his ability to recognize the signs, like packing a suitcase.  He is usually very tuned into this, and is aware long before one of us begins packing that something is going on.  Maybe the problem was that the dogs have been traveling with us for the past few months when suitcases are packed, so his alarm level was low.  In any case, it caught him off-guard.  Monday night was not good for sleeping.  At the point that we went to bed, Parker was aware that something was wrong.  Not all of the “pack” was where they were supposed to be.  He laid with his head pointed toward the doorway, doing the whimper-cry-worry distress sounds that connect deep within me like a cattle prod.  This meant that Jade didn’t get comfortable either, or Corky (Boston Terrorizer).  Shortly after this, Corky heard a monster outside and went into full alarm mode.  (The sprinkler was on.)  Jade and Parker joined in for this one.  It was a long night.

The next morning, we went to Work, and things gradually began to feel more normal.  Greg called during the day, so maybe he didn’t “run away” after all.  By evening, with a good afternoon snooze for the Newfs, all were happy again.

This morning, we went to Work again, walking along the road to the office, me with two Newfs beside me.  It was nice enough that I thought we would use the opportunity for a little exercise by walking down the road and back, passing the drive to the office.  Suddenly, it felt like I had hit the end of the leash.  <g>  Jade was beside me, but where was Parker?  I turned around to see what was wrong, and saw that Parker had taken the leash in his mouth, not with the usual joy of enthusiasm for doing something together, but to stop me, and it did stop me in my tracks.  I don’t know whether he thought we missed our turn, or if he thought the pavement was too hot for a walk, but clearly he wanted to go to the office, not further down the road.  I do appreciate that my Newfs are independent thinkers with the confidence to communicate, but negotiation goes both ways.  This time, I convinced him to walk with us a little further, just a short distance, then we went back.  The Newfs explored their yard for a little while, then came in for a cookie and another good nap.

I do love sharing our place in the world with a good Newf who teaches me that listening is very important (a phrase that I often use with them).

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