Poochie, my almost eleven year old dog-child, barks at every footstep passing by our entrance door. She has taken to constant vigilance at old age and is skeptical of anyone or anything new. Gives me resentful looks if I am on my way out without her and when I’m home she looks at me – I swear – with a smile like I’m her favourite pet human on earth.
Did you ever hear your dog speak to you? Oh they do. “Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” And Poochie’s “you are home? You are home! Where were you all this while? I am angry! You left me alone with this burly human who drops mayonnaise on his shirt while eating! How could you?” – bark is a whole sentence of tonal highs and lows. She speaks. We humans haven’t created a dog-to-English translator (yet), but it is possible to get a pretty good idea of what Poochie means when she says, “Raur!” Yes, my dog doesn’t “Woof!” Poochie is not limited to simple barks. She has a whole range of vocabulary of howls, whines, sighs, grunts, yips, and growls. Her “Raur”, followed by fast, staccato bursts are exactly to communicate excitement that I am back, but then it changes to a medium pitch bark of accusations – before she comes right up to me, and then she sniffs and licks my shoes. **Facepalm**
In May, right during my breakup, I was a “bit” emotionally exhausted. Making everyday things hard to accomplish. So, the useless lump that I became – made it hard for me to take Poochie out for long walks. So, Dan-the-man wanted to take her out for a walk instead. She went downstairs with him, did her “business”, and when it was time to move away from the building entrance – she sat down. Refusing to budge. Dan-the-man tried to coax her to walk, he would bend down to pet her and she’d stand up, but the moment he’d start walking – she sat again, refusing to budge. He figured that she didn’t want to leave me alone. So to check if his theory was right, he walked towards the entrance of our building, and? Poochie was up and running. Poochie ran in, and up the stairs, pawing at our door!
This is a whole new spectrum of warm and fuzzy. The love our pets give us. She is the first to know if I’m sick, and also the first to react. When PMS-ing she literally comes running and keeps on hopping on her hind legs till I put her on bed, and then she snuggles up to my belly with her head on it to keep my belly warm. She’s my hot water bottle even before I realise I need one.
That’s why it worries me that she’ll be eleven soon. Best case I’ll have five more wonderful human years with her. And that thought keeps creeping up these days. That’s why probably I miss her more when I’m away from home.