Posted: 20 Jul 2010 11:02 AM PDT
I've written lots about the unique relationships we have with our dogs and cats. I've written extensively about our dog Miles and the effect he's had on my wife and I since we took him in last winter. He's a special dog and we both love him.
Lately though, I've noticed something interesting.
Miles is my wife's dog. Oh, he likes me and he's happy to see me in the morning when I come up the steps. He wags his tail and gives me a nice greeting, but he's really waiting for Chris to come up stairs. When he sees her his whole body wiggles and his tail wags and it seems that he even smiles. He's excited to see her and the feeling is mutual.
If I lay in bed a little later, I can hear them talking upstairs. Chris is explaining that they will go for their morning hike as soon as she has some coffee and something to eat. When she comes downstairs to get her hiking shoes I can hear Miles whine a little as if to say, "Where are you going now? We're supposed to be going up on Boston Bill to chase rabbits and lizards."
I can hear him do his little dance when she heads back up and then off they go for a three to four mile hike with plenty of elevation gain. They do this every morning without fail. I go about every third time and I think Miles likes having the whole family along. They go for another walk when things cool off in the evening.
Yesterday, Chris went to Las Cruces with Alice's mom, Martha. Before she left she made me promise to take Miles for a hike and make sure he had plenty of food and water. It was just like when she used to leave me with the kids. I really didn't need to be reminded to feed and water either Miles or my children, but Chris felt it was her duty to make sure she had given explicit instructions before she left.
She tells Miles that she loves him at least two or three times a day. She may have said something along those lines to me last week sometime, I think. She tells me that she loves having a dog that is big enough to hug. When we sit and read or watch TV at night, Chris sits on the floor so Miles can lay his head in her lap.
Miles has a great life. I think our kids are a little jealous of all the attention Miles gets. They think back to their childhood and try to remember if they were treated as well. I tell them not to think about it too much. They may have a legitimate argument. We all know that raising dogs and kids are two very different things. It's so much easier to raise a dog.
Seriously, it's a real pleasure to be able to witness the relationship Miles and Chris have. They both get tremendous rewards out of living together. Talk about unconditional love. I see it every day. In fact, I think it makes me a better husband and a better father to observe and attempt to model the behavior I see between the two of them.
A girl and her dog. And me.
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