Babbling Bosco

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Bosco’s talking!

It took 19 months for him to have an opinion strong enough to verbalize.

Normally he communicates with snorts and huffs and every so often a very soft sound that sounds like “berf.”

But a week or so ago, he had something to say, which was:

“I like pork.”

It all came about when I was eating stir-fry pork. Bosco thought it smelled good, and dropped some hints that he’d like to taste it.  He put his head in my lap and  stared up at me with huuuuuge eyes. Really subtle. Then I offered him a vegetable. He eagerly reached for it – then realized that wasn’t what he wanted. He sniffed again, curled his lip, and shook his head.

Being a jerk, I laughed at him. And then he spoke up, and ran around in little circles.

A few days later, we had the same scene – but this time it was grilled chicken. After submitting his request, Bosco accepted that there would be no chicken for him, and went off to watch from a distance. Then I called him over and gave him a piece. This is a loose translation of what he had to say:

“Yay it’s chicken I’m eating chicken and it tastes soooo good and I’m so happy I’m going to run around the room and yell because I’m eating chicken and it tastes so good and this is the best day of my life because I had chicken.”

Or something like that.  Something so wonderful happened to him that he finally forgot himself and all his anxieties and was a big happy dog. A one inch piece of chicken did all that.

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In the last few months, he’s been seeking affection, asking to be petted, and to have his ears rubbed.  He doesn’t get as nervous when I cuddle the stuffing out of him, and seems slightly disappointed when it stops. But …. then there’s the smooching. He’s so cute, and so tall, and I love to plant a big kiss on the top of his head. He haaaaates the smooching because it comes with sound effects. Yesterday I smooched at him from across the room.  He ran backwards and “berfed” at me, wagged his tail, then ran forward. Repeat repeat repeat. He wanted me to know that it would be more fun to run around the house than smooch.

I was eating trail mix yesterday, and Bosco wanted some. He was unconcerned that everything in trail mix is bad for dogs.  He made his eyes 600 times their normal size, and looked from me to the container, and back again – After I’d put it away, he kept it up for another hour.

Let’s just say this- I’m pretty thick sometimes. He wasn’t telling me he wanted nuts and raisins. He. Had. To. Go. And I wasn’t getting it. So he resorted to the classic way to get my attention.  He put himself at eye level, reached out with a big ol’ paw, and smacked me.

Message received!

Emo Bosco

Bosco’s in love. His problem is that he’s in love with two different women.

I had to go to Maryland last week, so Bosco had to go to camp. He has training sessions with Robyn, and her dog Bella chips in to help him understand what he’s supposed to do.

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And so it begins….. True love. At least on his part. Perhaps Bella’s used to her students going head over heels for her. She certainly doesn’t seem all that into Bosco.

Which might explain why he also had grand feelings for the dog in the hotel room next to him. I don’t have much info on that. Except she’s a blonde. Gentlemen don’t kiss and tell.

I’m making light of something that’s pretty neat. Bosco is freely expressing his emotions..

This morning I woke up to Bosco poking at me. I figured he needed to start his normal morning routine, so I stumbled down the steps and let him out the back door. That wasn’t what he wanted, so we came inside and I gave him breakfast. He wasn’t in the mood for that either. I sat down on the sofa, figuring that eventually he’d communicate what was on his mind.

It didn’t take long for it to be crystal clear. He flung himself up on the sofa and sprawled across my lap. He needed cuddling.

In case you’ve been wondering, Bosco hates hates hates snow. He has been struggling to keep up his end of the backyard agreement, because his spots are covered and the terrain is constantly changing. Even taking him for a walk doesn’t help, because there are snowbanks in the place he wants to use. I did have to laugh yesterday – he decided the solution was to stand on his hind legs, put his front paws on the top of the snowbank, and let it fly like a man. And when I laughed, his big eyes were very expressive. They said “I’d like to see you try this.”

With the massive amounts of snowfall, the city asked us to get cars off the street. I parked in a large deck several blocks away. I doubt anyone in the world says “oh, I feel so safe and comfortable in a parking deck.” So I made Bosco come with me. I felt safe and comfortable in a parking deck. My apologies to those we encountered as we walked home and back again. The sidewalks were narrow, Bosco’s toes were cold, and he had the grumpiest expression on his face. Many people decided to dive into snowbanks to avoid us. Oops.

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He’s doing something new and adorable – presenting me with toys. It started last week when I thought he’d like playing a searching game with a hidden toy. I was wrong – he didn’t like it at all, and spent the next hour wandering around the house looking for a spot to hide it from me. Then he’d put the toy on my lap. Then he’d remember that I was the one who’d hidden it in the first place, take it back, and wander about some more. Repeat repeat repeat. Yesterday morning I was given a toy – a nice soft tiger – without any provocation on my part. I had no clue what he wanted me to do with it. I petted it and praised Bosco for having such a nice tiger, and thanked him for sharing it. He wanted me to do something else. So I tossed it gently in the air, with a big “wheeeee!” a couple of times.

My tiger privileges have been revoked.