Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Experiment Part 1

I am sure by now you have figured out that I truly love my dog. More than anything. There are times, however, when I just need "My Space".  Without me really realizing it, Fred is always either sitting next to me, on me, following me, staring at me, sleeping with me, going in the car with me, etc. always, even when he goes outside he comes to the patio door, looks for me, and depending on the weather goes back to sniffing around, then comes back to get a look at me and so on. Then he comes back in and we start the whole process all over again. On the few occasions when I can't take him with me I know he's thinking about me, as I am usually thinking about him. I don't know if this is healthy or not, it is what it is. When your home a lot and only with each other, I think it just ends up evolving like that.
Lately I have noticed that my left shoulder has really begun to bother me, kinda stiff and achy, and it seems to be migrating up the left side of my neck. It makes me cranky. I realize now it is because Fred manages, without me even knowing it, to sit right under or over my left arm and in turn makes me sit very off kilter. He's very clever, he knows if he sits in just the right "spot", I will pet him, and pay attention to him without me actually knowing I am doing this. Works for him! I guess it's all about Fred.
Anyway, today I am conducting an experiment. I am going to try to go a whole day here without Fred on me, by me etc... Already Fred is showing signs of distress, he is sitting on the floor staring up at me with his huge eyes, every once in a while, a barely audible whimper comes out of him. I can't look.
Another "funny" thing about Fred. When he is distressed, excited, or frightened he sheds profusely. Under normal everyday conditions he really doesn't shed at all, but throw a little wrench in his routine and the fur flies, he's like a porcupine, it shoots off of him. As he sits now, staring at me, I can see the white hairs from his neck dribbling down onto the black part of his body.

I should do a time lapse, but I'm sure Fred would not cooperate. So, right now, Fred is not sitting on me, and it's a very nice relief for my shoulder. Of course, I will be vacuuming later. Fred wins...again.
The only way I can keep Fred from coming up onto the chair with me is to put an obstacle on the spot where he usually makes his "nest" by me. For right now, I am using a large cook book.
Not much room to sit, but it will have to do for now.

To tell you the truth I'm really not that comfortable sitting with my cook book. Fred wins again...If I don't do this, he will be in his spot under my arm with out me realizing it. Let me explain this phenomena. When I read, or am focused on something, I do not pay attention to what is going on around me. I do not do this deliberately, it is just how I am. I seem to be able to tune out everything.  For instance, I cannot read and listen at the same time, if I try, nothing sinks in, not what I'm reading, nor what the another person in the room may have said to me. It's a blank spot that needs repeating. Like a black hole. I don't know if this is good or bad, I may have a mild case of attention deficit disorder, who knows.
Fred knows this little quirk about me, so he lies in wait, watching me until I am thoroughly engrossed in something, then he makes his move.
"Won't be long now"

It is very slow and very deliberate, he assumes "Army Man Mode". One little creep at a time, until he is right at the chair, then, very carefully and quietly, he slithers, first the front feet come up, one at a time.
"I don't think she's paying attention, 2 up 2 to go!"

Then the back feet come up, one at a time. At this point he still isn't technically in the chair, he's kinda hanging on by his toenails. He hesitates, looks up to see if I am noticing, then makes his move to complete the maneuver. Noses himself into position, and there he is, under my left arm with my hand conveniently placed on his head and shoulders or tummy, depending on which way he "settles" in.
Obviously I'm not in the chair, but this is basically the position for optimum petting. Usually my arm somehow ends up under his chin. See how he's all tucked up there? Cute...

 At some point I will notice this, but it usually isn't until I realize my shoulder is starting to ache.
So today, the experiment continues. Fred's cranky and I need a heating pad. ;-)


  1. Advice, probably unwanted and too late, but if he's stressed enough to be shedding, this will probably backfire and he'll end up clingier. Maybe you should try 10 minute intervals at first reinforced with treats. I get your need for space--I have a clingy cat and every so often I just have to "get her off of me!" Good luck!

  2. Hi Mary! Thanks for following my blog. :-) Bostons are great dogs. Fred is adorable. I have 3 terrors... I mean, terriers! I have a Cairn, an Australian Silky and a Shih Tzu mix. I can relate to your crowded chair. I have a long cushion-y sofa that I stretch out on; two of my guys perch on the back of the sofa and one by my feet. :-)

  3. Jackal sheds when he's stressed too. Usually when we got to the vet lol!

    I actually like a mildly clingy dog. Storm is very independent and does not like cuddling. Jackal loves cuddling!! However when I got Jackal I made sure he slept in his crate and he also spent time alone so he wouldn't get separation anxiety. The forethought I put into it has prevented us having problems in the long run and now we can cuddle and he can sleep in the bed (although he doesn't anymore because he got too big and there isn't room) and yet I can ask him to move and he's fine with that. He will go happily lay by himself.

    If you go slow you can slowly wean him off of having to be constantly touching you. :)


I love reading comments from my blog! I think the comments make the blog! It gives me the motivation to write more. (or less)