A helping paw anyone?

Of course we all know Sam is a therapy dog, who despite being somewhat dim is pretty good at it. He comforts patients at the hospital like nobody’s business. His role as the canine concierge welcoming everyone on our block is without parallel. But I think he’s taken all this helping out stuff to a whole new level where I’m concerned. I think he secretly thinks he owns me, not the other way around. Why do I say that? He simply cannot leave me alone for a single minute.

It always been pretty ineffective to go into any room in the house and close the door since Sam arrived on the scene. If there isn’t major scratching, then there’s major whining or snuffling noises coming from that long schnoz of his from under the door. The ruckus was too much so now I just leave doors open which pretty much makes personal hygiene issues interesting. Since my accident, I’ve opted for baths rather than showers, but this view is starting to unnerve me. For a long time, I thought he was just mimicking his sheepdog siblings who probably taught him all his annoying habits. If you know anything about OES’s, you’ll understand.

If he isn’t draped across my lap, he’s leaning against me. Or just standing there, watching every move I make (sheesh, wild animals just spray!). This is the view I see when I try to take a bath.

Need any help?
Need a little help there?

At those [ahem] more delicate moments (like when using the “throne”) a fluffy redhead will either lay patiently across my lap with two soft amber eyes looking up at me as if asking, “need some help?” or I’ll get that snuggle head on top of my knee. It’s ironic since I tease Sam out loud about not having a thumb which just seems to tickle his fancy and he’ll snuggle up closer. Maybe he pesters me because I give him the attention he wants (personally I kind of enjoy making fun of him so maybe I’m reaping what I sow). Who knows what goes on in that simple little brain? Mostly I just chuckle and think nothing else of it. But lately, I’m starting to think he actually does believe he OWNS me, not the other way around.

When the sheepies were still with us, they used to do the same thing and I always expected that kind of behavior from them since they were after all, ‘herders.’ Didn’t realize Sam took such good notes! But for crying out loud, he is a Standard Poodle and there’s nothing herding about that breed. I just don’t get the “I can’t possibly be away from you for even a nano-second” mentality?

Lately he’s taken to sitting in front of me as I watch TV or if I’m working on the laptop, he’ll get as close as possible and then lays his head across my knee. Then there’s that plaintive look and then…slowly. ever. so. slowly. he’ll put one foot on the thigh, then the other and then Poof! he’s straddling me like I’m some sort of chattel. Heaven forbid I say anything out loud because that’s the signal for the tail to start waving back and forth like a flag on July 4th and he becomes quite animated. At just shy of 60 lbs., that animation across the lap can get a bit uncomfortable when an elbow is digging into the quad. Maybe it’s because it’s colder now and he’d rather share body heat though I’ve never seen anything that indicates Standard Poodles have a drop of Eskimo DNA in them.

What’s an independent dog mommy supposed to do? Sure I can banish him to his nice cushy warm bed near the radiator (and when I can’t stand the heat or being burritoed any longer, I do), which just leaves me feeling like one of Cinderella’s wicked step sisters. But I swear, this is becoming a daily routine. Sometimes, he’s worse than a clingy boyfriend and anyone who knows me, knows that “Homey don’t dig that shizzle nonsense!”

It makes me wonder if he’s trying to subliminally tell me something, either about him or about me. Either way it (mostly) makes me smile and when it doesn’t he gets the “be off with you, knave” treatment. The theatrics following said banishment are pretty entertaining and the heavy puppy sighs and flops on the floor are beyond priceless. Those antics usually make me take a time out and get down and play with him. That’s probably the problem with his being so damn cute and so damn manipulative!

Does your dog own you or is it just me? 🙂 How do you handle being owned? <3