Monday, December 22, 2014

Learning To Speak "Dog"

Everyone, meet Cookie! She is our family dog however lately she has become Thomas's dog the most. A beautiful thing has been happening and I have had more fun being around Thomas and Cookie during this time.

For so long, Thomas has kind of lived alongside Cookie. He'd pet her every now and then but he wouldn't do much else. Then in the last week or so, the two of them have become inseparable.

It began with a "hey Cooks" ever now and then to then Cookie sitting in front of Thomas and just staring at him. Her doing this always prompts all of us to ask her what she's asking from us. My husband and I usually fill in what we think she wants and she seems satisfied by that but Thomas has not learned how to speak "dog". I have taken to helping him interpret her signals and he has loved it. The other day Cookie sat in front of him just staring at him and kind of acting like she was going to jump on the couch beside him but Thomas just kept asking,

"What Cooks, what do you want?"

Over and over. Finally I broke in and I told him that she wants to snuggle up with him and that he needed to invite her up on the couch with him. When he did he was greeted with her standing on his chest and trying to give him kisses. We all try to avoid "dog lick" so he kind of joked with her about it saying "no thank you, I don't want kisses" but she kept up. The usual path, and the one she took that day, is to kind of leap at your face and just touch it with her nose. The feeling when she does that is that she is going to bite you but instead she is just trying to be close. It makes all of us laugh.

After that she collapsed on him and rolled around on him rubbing up against him and snuggling. I could tell he didn't quite know what to do and I told him to just love her back. I could see the joy in his face as he allowed himself to let loose and really love her. All of this strengthened their relationship even further.

Since then, they have had many conversations together. The most recent was when we went to get McDonald's and Thomas asked me to hand him a French fry to eat. Then from the back seat I heard:

"No Cookie, no. This is MY French fry. Mom gave it to me. I know you really want one but you can't have one because they aren't good for you."

It seems that the two of them have become fast friends. She follows him around the house, she asks him for walks and she loves it when he gets her leash and they head out into the neighborhood together. It is like Thomas has the little sister he never got because he has now incorporated her into his life every moment of the day in one way or another.

Thomas LOVES Cookie.

A young man and his dog.

Then best of all are the mornings when it's just Cookie and I awake. Together we wait for Thomas to wake up and lately Thomas has been getting up later and later. In response to this I have found Cookie, several times, curled up outside of his bedroom door just waiting for him to get up. I can't get her to budge from her spot. I'll talk to her down the hallway and she'll look up and acknowledge me for a few seconds and then she'll sigh and lay her head back down, a ball of black, furry love outside of the room her new best friend sleeps in. Like me, I think she worries a little when Thomas isn't up at his usual time and in her most amazing way, in the unconditional way that dogs love us, she waits for him to wake up and give her loves.

I love this new relationship. I love that Thomas now talks to her like she is a member of the family and I love the bond that has formed between the two of them. I love dogs. I especially love Cookie. She is expressive, loving and loyal and now she looks to Thomas for comfort and conversation. He's learning to speak "dog" and because of that, he has a friend in her for life.

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