Thursday, October 25, 2007

Constant Companion

Lesson Number Two: The Buddy System Always Works, part 1

Bijoux became my almost-constant companion. Barring work and school, which were blocks of time completely incompatible with having a puppy partner, she went everywhere with me. I took her in the car as much as possible, not only to keep me company but also to get her used to car travel. A quick trip to the bank? Bijoux learned in a matter of two or three visits that the bank stocked dog treats for canine customers. An afternoon at a friend’s house? Bijoux made her own friends while we were there! A grocery run for some last-minute dinner ingredients? Bijoux was along for the ride then, too, and loved every minute of it. When the boys were born, life got too hectic to bring Bijoux along on car rides as much as she was accustomed. Whenever a new opportunity for an easy errand with her presented itself, I was quick to take advantage of it, especially on cool and breezy spring or fall days.

I cracked open the windows and left Bijoux in the car, saying “See you later, Alligator!” (BLOGNOTE: I ONLY left her in the car alone for a few minutes at a time, and NEVER on a hot day.) Very early on, she developed a habit of moving into the driver’s seat when I left her in the car. I always tried to park the car facing the building I was visiting. The very second I climbed out of the car and walked away, she got up from the passenger seat and climbed into the driver’s seat, keeping her eye on the door of the building I entered. There she sat, straight and tall, staring in my direction—I know this because occasionally I was in a position to see her from inside—just waiting for me to reappear.

As I made my way back to the car, Bijoux always spotted me immediately. Although she remained seated while I was still yards away from the car, I could see her peering over the steering wheel with her ears perked up, wagging her tail as soon as I came into view. Her whole upper body moved back and forth ever so slightly as she wagged her tail, celebrating my return. It was only when I opened the car door to get in that she got up and hopped back over to the shotgun seat and settled herself, ready to ride on.

Click here for part 2!