poor ottoman doesn’t really want anything to do with me now that he sees that most of my attention is focused on this little wiggling, wriggling, whiney, miniature human being. he doesn’t listen to me when i call his name or tell him to come or sit or stay. he’s a whole lot more affectionate with jp than he ever used to be. and he’s a whole lot less affectionate with me.
how do you convince a dog you still love them so terribly much? that your heart would break into a million pieces if he were to run away and not be found, or get hit by a car, or–for one reason or another–not be there to greet you when you walk in the front door? i try to love on him each and every day: scratching his sweet spot, giving him treats, letting him jump onto my lap when i least want it and he seems to most want it (when i’m sitting on the toilet. shhh, don’t tell jp), taking him on walks even though they aren’t so easy now that it usually involves two kids and a stroller the size of a small car.
and yet, through all his pouting, i think he gets it. gets this thing involving the little bean and why i can’t give him as many cuddles as i used to. and you know how i know? bc otto has killed a raccoon, a cat, and a chicken. otto bares his teeth and attacks, without hesitation, any animal that is not roman or biz (two dogs we’ve painstakingly made sure he can get along with). bc i have even seen him snarl at the feet of a little baby i once held about a year ago. but–and this is a big But–otto has never once, ever ever, so much as lifted a paw in ramona’s presence. he gets that we love her w every fiber of our being and he respects this.
so at first he kept his distance bc i think he knew that we didn’t trust him. but now that we do — bc he’s shown he is not looking to maim her — he shows so much love and respect for this little girl (even though, ironically, he shows much disdain for me). he walks up and licks her on the top of her little bald head and will go nose-to-nose with her w eskimo kisses, and curls up at the bottom of her teeny feet when we finally let him on the bed in the morning. he gets it. and that’s all i need.