Tipping Point

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Professionally, I am known for my attention to detail. But apparently that is not the case in my own home.
 
Bosco’s made huge, huge strides in the last few weeks. I don’t think these changes were like a light switch got flipped.  But apparently I’ve missed all the little things that led up to these moments. So for Bosco it’s a progression, and for me it’s an epiphany.
 
We started working with Robyn right around this time last year. I don’t know if either of us could have pictured the big goofy “woofus” that he’s becoming.
 
Don’t get me wrong – Big Boy enjoys peace and quiet and loves his sleep. But when he’s awake, he wants attention. He’s requesting affection, and enjoying physical contact. Last week, when I was vigorously cuddling him and rubbing his head, I thought it was too much for him, and stopped.  Bosco leaned back into me, tilted his head up and gave me that pittie smile, which said, “more, please.”
 
I was thrilled a few months ago when he understood that he could interact in his environment, and not just be there while things happened around him. Now he understands that he can put in requests. Last weekend he pestered me until we went for a walk.
 
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Yesterday, he decided that watching me play Candy Crush was not how he wanted to spend his day. So he sat in front of me and whined. I took him outside, but that was not what he had in mind, so he went off to pout.
 
And speaking of opinions and pouting…. The top of his nose got awfully dry this week, and it looked like the dryness was spreading. For once I did research before I rushed off to fling my wallet at a vet, and discovered that what would be prescribed is also sold in people stores…an affordable cream called Shea butter.
 
So every night last week, Bosco got his nose buttered. And he was unhappy every time.  Don’t know why.
 
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 I remember a year ago, when I was learning the mechanics of interacting with a big dog – I was standing next to him, looked down and discovered I was standing on his tail.  And he just sat there and didn’t say a thing.  Now, the dog who was too timid to express pain slinks away when he thinks he’s about to get buttered – or get his ears cleaned.
 
But here’s the absolute best part – early one recent morning, I saw something that stopped me dead in my tracks.
 
Bosco was on his back, asking for a tummy rub. Not on his side, not half rolled, not responding to a rub-in-progress. But spine on the floor, front paws tucked up for maximum rubbing room, full-on tummy rub requesting position.

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Rolling back to see why the rubbing stopped

So I was really late to work that day, because damn it, I gave the best tummy rub ever.
 
Qualifying statement: while Bosco being more expressive is wonderful, and exactly what everyone wants to happen, I know that this is where my role as a responsible dog owner will fail or succeed. I am fully aware that this is the time where his training must be reinforced every single second of the day. This is our tipping point – I can’t let him be goofy and out of control.
 
I hear Robyn reminding me of that every time something cute, yet not okay, happens, and we do some homework.  Oddly enough, I’m also hearing her say something else:
 
Bosco needs a treat!

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1 thought on “Tipping Point

  1. YAYYYYY BOSCO!!!!! your mom IS listening!!!! training isn’t just about yes ma’am, no ma’am… it’s about enjoying life together! ….and ice cream,…. and ice cream… and ice cream….and yes, cute IS ok…. w/in reason… i.e. don’t dance w/ a lampshade on your head in public…well, I guess you can… no one will know you! HOOOOOORAY CHERI !!!

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