I have a mutt. Or more accurately, I am a mutts person.
I’ve talked about Riley in various posts. How he hates to get his paws wet, the way he sits up in the passenger seat of my truck…like a boss! The annoying way that he forces me to get off my ass and move!
My dog is the truest definition of unconditional love. He could tear up our leather sofa or shit in my favorite shoes and I’d still love him. I’d be disappointed and temporarily angry but I know me well enough to know that within an hour I would once again be rubbing his ears and kissing his head.
And he loves Julie.
You can see the stark contrast in the way he reacts to her and the way he would react to my ex.
My ex was just another person who fed and tended to him. Julie? Julie is his friend. She too will rub his belly and kiss his head. She lays in bed with him and reads while he is sprawled out on his back next to her..his head on my pillow.
She says that he keeps her company while I’m gone.
She told me something that I found pretty interesting.
When I’m home, he doesn’t bark at strangers. Delivery men, neighbors, friends, anyone who comes to the door is simply a nuisance for me to deal with. The doorbell rings, he goes to the door, looks out the side window and waits, quietly for me to answer and deal with whoever is on the other side.
When I’m not home he’s a beast! He easily slides into the role of protector.
I was talking on the phone to Julie and someone came to the door. Riley sprung into action. I could hear him barking, fiercely, through the phone. I could also hear Julie talking to him soothingly. “Who’s here, buddy? Should we let them in?”
She didn’t scold him or tell him “NO” like my ex would have done. She appreciated his protective nature and even rewarded him for it.
I asked how long he’s been a real live guard dog and she said that it has been the norm for a while now.
I don’t know if the two of them have formed a much stronger bond with my travel schedule or if he can sense that something is wrong with Julie but he has changed.
He is still loving and affectionate towards me, but I’ve noticed that she is the one he follows.
He used to make himself comfortable on his bed in the living room and not worry about where we were or what we were doing. Now? Now I can always find him laying just a few feet from wherever Julie is.
If she gets up to leave the room, he follows. If she goes to take a shower, he lays outside the door waiting for her to come out.
He still greets me with the same happy, excited expression he always has but now it’s obvious his loyalty is with her.
This started about a month ago.
Like I said. Maybe it’s just coincidence but the timing has me believing that he knows something is going on.
I think it’s endearing but it also scares and worries me a little. Animals have a unique way of sensing things. Is he sensing something that none of us know? Or am I being paranoid?
Maybe he just loves her as much as I do and doesn’t want to take a single second with her for granted.
Whatever the case, he is officially “our” dog and we are clearly his humans.