Seems about time to update on life here with a dog in the mix. Pax is still a SWEET boy – he’s come out of his “first week in a new place, what’s up???” shell though. As it turns out, he does bark and whine occasionally. He does want to jump. And he is definitely a retriever! He may also have a touch of Chris’ clutter OCD, because any item left out of place on the floor seems to bug
the crap out of him. He picks up baby shoes, C3PO figurines, crayons… and brings them to me.
They say that dogs view their families as a pack, and they are most comfortable and well-behaved when they know they are not the alpha animal in the pack. I think he’s got our family figured out this way:
- Chris is his favorite/the alpha when he’s around.
- In the absence of Chris, Pax CLEARLY knows who’s the mama.
- Susannah can also boss him around, so she’s up here in the order.
- The baby is some kind of protected species, so she also seems to rank higher than Pax.
- Then Pax sees himself —-> here <—.
- And Jonas is here.
Yeah, what’s up with that? Well, Jonas is timid around Pax. He loves him, and he loves to throw for him to fetch, and loves petting the dog and feeding the dog. But he has that “nervous” body posture, so Pax started jumping up and putting his front paws on Jonas’ chest or shoulders. And when he does that, Jonas sort of freezes and whimpers for someone to move Pax off! In dog-ese, this communicates submission.
Now on the other hand, Pax listens to a little not-quite-three-year-old dynamo. I mean, seriously. She’s about as tall as he is! She weighs 28 pounds to his 60! And yet. She is all sass, all the time. She commands him with AUTHORITY in her little voice, and he obeys her. It’s a hoot.
The other day, she went to the closet and got a scoop of his food. It was 4:00 pm, not hardly doggie dinner time. We watched, smothering giggles, as she made her way across the kitchen toward his bowl. He was sniffing around near her, lifting off his front feet to see into the scoop. She’d stop walking and say “Ehh! [the “no” noise we make for dog purposes] Sit!” He would sit. “Good boy, Paxie!” and she’d take a few more steps. He’d nose near her elbows, and she’d do it again: “Ehh! Sit! …Good boy, Paxie!” All… the way….. to….. the bowl. She made him sit, tail wagging, until she poured the food. “Take it!” And Pax lunged at his surprise meal.
Another time, Jonas wanted to play with Pax. But Jonas’ definition of “play with Pax” is not what you might expect from an almost-six-year-old boy. 😉 “Hey Susannah, come help me with Pax!” So Susannah comes to the family room. “What, Jonas? What’s the mattah?” Jonas points at Pax. “Make him sit, and lay down, so I can pet him.” Susannah turns to face Pax and stretches out her hand, palm down. “SIT!” Pax sits. Susannah lowers her hand toward the carpet. “DOooooWN!” Pax lays down. Susannah flourishes her hand, displaying the dog to her brother Vanna-style. “They’a you go, Jonas; you can pet him now.” Jonas kneels down to pet the dog and Susannah sashays off to another adventure.