The most amazing thing about dog ownership is the relationship that you have with your dogs based purely on interpretation of each other’s behaviors. Shio understands my quirky habits better than I do and I always make the effort to figure out what he is trying to tell me. For example, if there is food on the counter he’ll sit on the floor closest to the bowl and stare at me until he grabs my attention. Then whips his head to look up towards the bowl, then look back at me. It’s very obvious what he’s trying to tell me there!
There are some less obvious interpretations that can only be known after co-existing for longer time periods. I came home early from work today to nap after feeling sick and found home greeting me at the door. He was not as enthused as normal but I was too groggy to realize. Then I went for a catnap in the bedroom and noticed that he climbed onto the bed to nap with me. Still groggy, I thought it to be a rare sign of empathy from our Shiba. I lightly napped and was awaken several times by his restlessness. Finally realizing that sneaking in a good nap was futile, I stood up and went back to my computer with him following closely behind. I had the inkling that something was wrong the whole time and finally followed my instincts and leashed him up for a walk.
Immediately upon walking out the door, Shio laid down on our welcome mat and vomited his breakfast. He then proceeded to quickly trot to our park to finish the rest of his business on a pile of leaves. This circle of excretion processes happened several times over the next 30 minutes and I took him immediately to the vet for some medication to ease his discomfort. I felt pain for having made him wait so long to go out and realized how considerate he was to hold it for as long as it could so that he wouldn’t soil the home.
He is now feeling much better and has been sleeping it off. Test results come back tomorrow.
Shio and I had a difficult year but moments like these make me realize how fragile we both are and how much I love him.