When I come home from work, our dog, a lhasa apso – bichon frise mix, greets me at our front door. She’ll prance and jump in front of me and try everything in her power to get my attention.
Her attention is focused squarely on me. My arms are full and I usually have a few things on my mind, having just come in from the car, but I can’t help but love her attention. I put my bags down and rub behind her ears. She looks back up at me with total love and affection.
Of course, I brag to my wife that I’m Nittany’s favorite. My wife doesn’t even try to hold in her laugh. She shakes her head at me and pokes a hole in my bubble by pointing out that Nittany doesn’t stop jumping up and down until I walk to the kitchen and pull out a doggie treat from one of our cabinets for her to scarf down.
“She just loves you because you feed her! Pure and simple, and she doesn’t need a treat. I just gave her one. You spoil her!”
I fight back saying that she’s just jealous of all the love thrown my way. I call her a jilted lover.
Love or just time for dinner
Oh, I would love to keep on making fun of my wife, but she’s right. Nittany is onto me like the way every dog in the world can tell instantly the best spot in the street to relieve themselves.
She knows a sucker when she sees one.
Science has done a ton of studies on whether dogs and cats have feelings. Do they really love us? Can they feel happiness, sadness?
I’m not sure what to make of their findings, but I’m pretty sure Nittany loves us. I would put money on it. Here’s my proof: She’s been moping for a week now since our oldest daughter left home for a new adventure. Nittany runs to the door every day looking for our daughter. She looks up expectantly anytime my daughter’s name is mentioned. When she can’t find her, Nittany spends hours in her room. It’s like she’s laying claim until my daughter returns.
Living in the lap of luxury
Nittany is moping in large part, because she’s just getting over the loss of our oldest son, who moved out last winter. She’s a dog on a mission, she’s searching for her herd. If dogs can have “peeps,” she’s looking for “her people.” Unfortunately, she keeps coming up empty.
Of course, one day when the two of them finally come back home for good, she’ll have to beat me to the door and then, when she sees the two of them, she’ll be on Cloud Nine.
For the time being, Nittany has to put up with my wife and I fighting for her attention. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not too bad for a little dog looking for some love.