A lot has been written regarding how much our dogs understand when we talk to them. I have pondered this in Talking to Your Dog. Now I have experienced how effectively my dogs communicate to me.
Let’s set the scene. It is 4:10 am. Neither birds nor sun have risen to greet the day. I am slowly pulled from my deep sleep, not by any movement or noise, but rather by the intensity of Moe’s stare. When I open my eyes to investigate why I had abandoned my restful slumber, my eyes lock with Moe’s. He is sitting roughly two feet from the bed, his face level with mine. Was that a disapproving look I see?
Experience has taught me that although I could order him back to bed, the respite would only last a few minutes. It’s inevitable. Moe has decreed it’s breakfast time. To be fair the early morning hour is a throw back to when my husband would rise at that hour, feed the dogs and get ready to go to work. It’s a habit I never developed and one my husband has long abandoned, however Moe refuses to accept this change in his routine.
My legs and arms feel like lead weights as I shrug on my robe and shuffle off to the kitchen. I am functioning but barely. I mentally go through my checklist. Willa is recovering from surgery, so the first order of business is to ensure she gets her morning pain medication. That accomplished, I throw open the patio door so that both dogs can go out and take care of any necessary business before breakfast. Next on the list is a tour through the house ensuring the water bowls are full of fresh water. As I move down the hall from the living room into the kitchen, Moe rudely pushes past me, nearly knocking me off my feet. “This is weird” I thought. Normally Moe waits impatiently in the corner of the family room, where he is fed, emitting the occasional yelp as a reminder that the big brown dog needs food. Now I watch as he rushes across the kitchen to the corner where a large bag of dog food sits. The food will be dumped into the plastic “food bin” that is used to feed the dogs. It is the first time I have seen Moe acknowledge it’s existence. I wait to see what new evil is lurking in the mind of Moe. I watch as he perfunctorily raises his front right paw, bats the food bag twice and then turns and stares at me.
The message is clear, he’s had enough of my dillydallying. It’s time to be fed.