All my posts include something about my parents. I sometimes call them Mom and Dad and I sometimes call them Jane and Phil. I ask, are they my owners? Are they my parents? Are they my friends? Are we all just in one loving pack?
Since I’m a dog, I don’t have to define the relationship.
I do, however, have to obey them. Jane will say, “Joey, go to Dad” and Dad says “Joey, go to Jane.” It’s easier for me to hear the sound “Jane” than “Mom” and it’s easier for me to hear the sound “Dad” than Phil.
I don’t have to love them – but I do. I love them no matter what they call themselves. I never ask myself the question, Why do I love them? I simply do. I love them because loving is my nature and I have a lot of enthusiasm for friendship. I don’t really understand all they’ve done for me, but I have a good sense of it. In the months since I ran into the car, I know they’ve found many ways to be there for me even more than before – and the natural result is that I’ve found an even greater love and attachment to them. Even when I was eating my splint to bits, they remained patient with me, never expressing any frustration to me.
My mom and dad are different: Jane, my mom, tries to train me. Dad used to give me a command like “Sit” and then afterward, if I did it, he would say “Thank you.” Jane said “Don’t say thank you because you say it with a really nice sweet tone of voice and as soon as you say that in that nice sweet tone of voice of yours he thinks he doesn’t have to sit anymore.” She was right. Dad stopped saying “Thank you” and I got better about obeying. I think she understood that part of me better than Dad did, and she didn’t mind trying to match my strong will.
Any way you look at it, my parents are the biggest things in my life.
What makes a dog love somebody? What makes a dog love his owners?
Let’s clear up one matter: I don’t love them for giving me treats.
Dad would give me one treat in the morning after we would go running, and that was it. Jane didn’t used to give me treats at all. And I loved both Dad and Mom. Jane gives me a lot of treats now that I’m injured but that’s just because she wants to keep me happy when the things I normally do to keep me happy, such as running with my dad and hanging loose in the back yard all by myself, I am not allowed to do anymore (or yet).
When Dr. Cara gave me treats in the animal medical center and I kissed her, Dr. Cara thought I kissed her because she had given me treats. Not true. I would have kissed Dr. Cara anyway, even without the treats. I would have kissed her because I knew that she is my friend.
Treats are a distraction, however. For example, when Jane is going out and I want to follow her outside, she gives me a treat and I carry the treat to my bed. For a minute or two I’m so busy with my treat that I don’t notice that she has left. And by that time, I’m pretty cool.
Why does a dog follow his owner around?
Please click here to see the answer to this question in my next post.