It’s hard to write with a dog on your chest.
I turned the lights off the other night with Charlie’s head on my chest, and I suddenly felt very aware of the 100 pound animal sharing my bed. I had originally put off letting him on my bed. In the morning, he would put his front half on the bed to nuzzle me and wake me up. Then he started jumping up on it in the evening or during the day when I was at my desk. After that, he slept through some of the night on the bed, but the past few nights he has slept the whole night with me.
I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I do love hugging him. I at least push him to side when he’s taking up the whole bed though.
Anyway, I was thinking about him being in my bed, and it made me remember when I first realized how weird it is to have such a big animal share our houses with us. I was probably ten when I looked out into the backyard and saw my childhood dog, Casper, and the beagles running around and thought, “There are animals in the yard!”
It was an interesting thought. I still love seeing deer in a field even though I see them all the time. There’s something about such a big animal being free in the woods. It’s like they are a secret. Dogs aren’t as free; they belong with us, or, at any rate, we like having them around. Still, when you forget the context of pets and see them in your yard, they look wild and free again.
Saturday was Charlie’s first big social outing. The Saint Paddy’s Day parade/town-wide festival was this weekend so my Aunt and Uncle opted to invite people out to their land instead. Charlie is still sort of touchy about other people. He gets defensive and concerned when other dogs approach me. Plus he’s nosy and wants to get in everyone’s business.
I’m pretty sure he will grow out of this protective nature, to an extent, as he gets used to my big family. He still gets homesick when we are gone too long. He’s a homebody, but he’s a sweetie too.
Luckily, we only had one mishap with another dog. He had fun swimming and running around with a couple of other dogs though.