Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dogs and their Humans

So those of you who know me or who have been reading this blog with any regularity know that I absolutely adore my sweet mutt Riley, who has been bringing sunshine into my life for two and a half years now. He came into my life shortly after the demise of a very serious relationship, and has been my constant companion and therapy dog ever since. Mary's little lamb has nothing on Riley!

This summer I've gotten to spend a lot of quality time with my Roo as I affectionately call him and as I was sitting on the couch this morning, I realized just how similar dogs and their humans are. I really think Riley is the canine version of me, picking up on many of my best (and unfortunately) some of my worst qualities.

1. We are both extremely outgoing and social. Anytime we are out for a walk, or at the dog park, Riley always wants to go and say hello to all the other dogs. When a new dog arrives at the dog park, Riley is right there by the gate, acting as the welcoming committee. It doesn't matter how big or small, how vicious or docile looking the dog is, he is right there, wagging his tail, begging for other dog to play with him! On Riley's pawgress reports from Doggie Day Camp (one of his favorite places), there at always comments like "Riley was the life of the party" or "Riley played with everyone non-stop"

2. We are both motivated by food. Riley will be in the back yard and I will call his name over and over again and tell him to come and he will just look  right at me and wag his tail (I'd say his successful listening rate is about 50% even though he knows the command) but as soon as I ask him if he wants a c-o-o-k-i-e, he comes galloping in the house (he knows how to manipulate his momma for sure)!

3. We both love snuggles (and naps). Even though he's over 40 lbs, my boy thinks that he is a lap dog. He is constantly climbing into my lap while I watch tv or read a book on the couch and lays down to snuggle (even when it is inconvenient or painful). He always  has to be touching me and when we go to sleep at night, he inches his body closer and closer to mine until I am falling off the bed or can't move because he is curled into the crook of my legs

4. We both are attention seeking. When he wants my attention, he will bring a toy and drop it in my lap. If I am perusing social media or email on an electronic device, he will go get a shoe of mine, or get up and walk to the other side of the room with a large sigh.  When I have company over, he will climb on top of my guests until they pet him or play tug of war with his rope.  When I am one the phone, he barks to let me know he is not happy that someone else has my attention.

I wouldn't trade him for the world, but it certainly is interesting to see qualities (for better or worse) of yourself manifested in an animal. Anybody out there have any similar experiences?