Part 2: “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” ― A.A. Milne
My dog is named Tanner. He is an almost 4 year old Cockapoo. He came to be a member of our family because one day my younger daughter, who was terrified of dogs, said to me,”Mommy, I’m ready to not be afraid of dogs.” I replied, “Awesome, what do we need to do?” She very seriously said,”We need to get a dog, and he should be small, and a puppy so I can learn to train him to listen to me.” And then I asked, “You know if we get a dog, he will stay. How much money did your sister tell you she’d give you if you asked for a dog?” She answered me with the sweetest look on her face, “Mommy, I’m serious. I think I won’t be afraid if I am with a dog everyday, and I will learn how to be more comfortable around dogs.”
So, needless to say, we started our search for a small puppy to help her conquer her fears. And we found Tanner. Tanner who definitely listens to us when we talk about treats, food, or balls. And lets us know he is listening when we say or spell “W-A-L-K,:” by tilting his head this way and that showing us that he understands and is interested in this activity.
We listen to him too. He scratches at the door to let us know that he wants to go outside, and if we don’t hear him, he scratches louder. He also scratches to let us know he wants back in, sometimes he isn’t very patient about it.
He barks at those that pass by our window. He barks when someone comes to the door. He barks when people leave. If you are really listening, you can tell the difference in what he is saying. Sometimes it’s, “Come inside and see me, I’m so excited you are here.” Other times it’s, “Hey, that’s my yard, stop smelling my grass.” And many times it’s, “Oh, I haven’t seen you in so long, why haven’t you come to see me? Do you know how much I love and miss you.” And when we are walking out the door it’s, “I’m so mad at you! Why are you leaving? I don’t want to be here by myself. Take me with you!”
He is a very special family member who gives the best snuggles and kisses, performs entertaining tricks, senses when we’ve had a bad day, and just wants to cheer us up, and makes us laugh. He came along and cured one little girl’s fears and helped her learn to be brave. We are honored to know him and will always try our best to listen.