I have been dog-sitting the last few days. He’s a… something. I don’t even know what breed. A mix of some terrier and a Maltese, I think. His name is Riley. He is 12 years old. He is the quietest thing ever. We hit it off straight away.
After greeting him with a pat and a tummy scratch, I let him follow me into the house and I sat down in front of the television. Without a noise he wandered dutifully over to the sofa and curled up between my feet on the floor. He has not been interested in anybody else since. He has not wanted to leave my side. He is asleep under my chair as I write this now. We have an understanding.
I took him with me to the beach. I figured he would like that. He did. I said ‘walk’ and he picked up his leash in his mouth and sauntered towards the door. Neat trick.
He wasn’t so sure about the beach though. It was as if the poor guy had never seen the seaside before. At first he loved it. The sand didn’t bother him. He was enjoying the sea breeze. And then he ran into some seaweed.
Well, he did NOT know what to make of that stuff. But he knew he did not trust it. He gave every clump of seaweed after that an extremely wide berth. Anytime he got close to one, he would jump back, as if it was alive and ready to pounce at him. I have never seen anything like it. He is such a softy.
Then we reached the steps again. He was fine coming down them earlier. Not so sure about going up. He tried the first two and then stopped, giving me as worried an expression as you can get across a dog’s face. He looked up at me as if to say, ‘are you going to carry me or what?’
So I did. I carried the sook up the entire flight of steps.
We went back the next morning. He wasn’t so afraid now. As if overnight he had realized everything was okay here and he could trust me completely. He no longer paid the seaweed any mind, and he bolted up the steps, until wearing himself out. He crawled up the last few.
I only have a few more hours with him now. I’ll miss the guy. And I think he’ll miss his trips to the beach. Oh well, I may have to dog-nap him one day and take him for some more revenge on the seaweed monsters.