Friday, November 7, 2008

My Best Friend Doesn't Talk Much

In preparations for the second release of my suspense novel Dead Witness, I've spent a lot of time at the computer this month, and away from my friends. There's no end to the things I have to do to promote my book. My friends and I managed an impromptu tea one afternoon, but I haven't seen as much of them as I'd like. Writing is a solitary act, there's no doubt about it. Maybe that's why I've become so attached to our dog, Bandit. He's my constant companion these days.

Bandit would much rather be running through the bush and down the road, stopping long enough to sniff out friends, or leave his special "Hi. I was here." When he goes up to Tchentlo Lodge on the Nation Lakes, there are two foxes he plays with. Though they continually try to coax him into the forest. He knows.

Bandit's a dog. He enjoys living outdoors more than indoors. Generally.

All summer long, we had to bribe Bandit in at night. We can't chance a bobcat or bear going after him. That was this summer. The last few weeks, though, apart from his walk/run with his dad in the morning, he stays outside only long enough to relieve himself. Then it's back indoors.

The first few days I thought maybe he wasn't feeling well. But it's not that cold out. He's eating. Drinking normally. There's nothing that exciting on TV. Bandit has a special spot on the end of the chesterfield where he curls up and watches HGTV during the day. At night he likes football or hockey. He loves Dog Whisperer.

One day, I asked him what was wrong, why did he suddenly want to stay indoors. His reply was simple. He nudged his cold nose under my hand and looked up at me with those sad icy blue eyes. He wanted pats?

After a few rubdowns, he laid down on the floor beside me and closed his eyes. It was only when I got up to find a particular reference book that he followed me. I sat down. He laid down. A little while later, I threw a load of laundry in the dryer. I turned and almost tripped over him. Once I was back at the computer, I looked over and he was curled up on the couch. Maybe he was feeling insecure? Do dogs even feel that?

This has been going on for weeks. Bandit runs in the morning. He plays with his bone on the floor beside my desk. He lies on the couch. Or he stretches out on the throw rug in the middle of the floor. But when he goes outside, it's only to pee, do some quick sniffs, then he scratches to get back in the house. Unless I go out with him.

Gads, have I turned my pooch into an old man before his time? Maybe I should hire one of the neighbourhood kids to take Bandit for a run after school? I would except there aren't any kids big enough. Bandit doesn't walk, he pulls. Great sled dog.

As I type this he's stretched out under the dining room table a few feet away. Maybe I'll have to settle for my best friend simply wanting to spend time with me.

8 comments :

  1. I've had a couple Shelties that behaved like that in their later years--it was age related hearing loss and sight deterioration that left them feeling a bit insecure. It was kind of nice that they liked to stay close except that I had to be extra careful not to trip over them!

    Careann

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  2. Bandit is 7 years old. He went for a run this morning, full bore. He's playing with his bone now. Gads, I hope it isn't anything serious. Thanks, Careann. If he doesn't improve by Monday, I'll make an appointment.

    My husband thinks it's because Bandit's girlfriend is no longer in heat, and he's depressed. lol

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  3. Syberian Huskies are sled dogs. They're meant to run and pull. They don't like rain either. They're meant for snow. Maybe he's just feeling glum because of the season.

    Seven isn't old.

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  4. Thanks, Robin. I appreciate your message.

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  5. Don't laugh, your husband may be right. Whatever the case, unless other more specific symptoms turn up I wouldn't worry too much.

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  6. lol, you mean I have to admit he's right? oh darn.

    Thanks for dropping by, Careann.

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  7. Hah! Now you know what it's like to own a Doberman. I had to put Vrook in his crate in order to clean today because I got tired of tripping over him.

    He used to follow me to the bathroom until he got the message that I didn't think that was kewl. Now he just lays outside in the hallway and watches. Like, what could be all that interesting?

    Maybe Bandit is just trying to recover from all that girlfriend action.

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  8. Hi Vicki. What a difference a year makes. Bandit hates being indoors now. He might miss his GF. She hasn't been seen for a week. Either her parents were told to behave, or she found herself a new fellow. But Bandit remains hopeful. Poor boy.

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