Proud of my Grand-Dog (and his owner)
Posted at 12:59PM - Comments: (7)
Last weekend, I was in the San Francisco Bay Area for a quick overnight trip, taking care of some family business. I didn’t have time on this trip to hang out with my son; we were both very busy and so we only had time to have breakfast together. He suggested we meet at a breakfast spot that has tables outdoors; it was a lovely morning and he wanted to bring his dog, Cole, as he wasn’t going to have much time to spend with Cole later in the day.
I got to the restaurant first and selected a table that is in the middle of the sunny sidewalk in front of the restaurant. A few minutes later, my son parked across the street. I watched him and his dog stroll calmly across the street, but I didn’t call out to either of them; I wanted to see how long it would take Cole to recognize me. I was the one who pulled him out of my local shelter a year and a half ago, and he’s spent lots of time at my house when my son has been traveling with his sports team.
It was clear that Cole registered only the sight of “people” sitting at the table that my son was leading him toward, and his tail wagged in a friendly, relaxed way as they approached. I sat perfectly still and quiet. He casually sniffed in the direction of my shoe as my son stopped by the table and suddenly, his head came up and his entire demeanor changed. “Oh, it’s you!!” His whole body wagged and he whined and tried to lick my face as I rubbed his shiny shoulders and caressed his silky long hound ears. My son complained, joking, “He was good until he saw you!”
The cool thing was, once past his surprised and enthusiastic greeting, he was good, the entire meal. He lay quietly on the sidewalk behind my son’s chair, and never once begged for food or attention. Several times, people walked by our table, twice leading dogs of their own, and each time, Cole watched them go by but never acted as if he might get up. Instead, he glanced at my son, and seeing no sign that he might be invited to greet the other dog, he looked away from the other dog, indicating clearly that he wasn’t going to interact. My son takes Cole to work with him a few days a week, and it’s obvious they have been practicing this behavior, which is vital for an “office dog” to know. My son occasionally reached down to rub the top of Cole’s head, and even gave Cole a bit of ham a time or two, reinforcing Cole’s calm, composed “down-stay.” He’s just done a bang-up job with this dog, his first “own” dog, and I could not be prouder of both of them.