My mother, who refers to Baxter as "the grand-dog," arrived yesterday evening. She walked through the door and Baxter immediately launched into his "I haven't seen you in AGES" greeting. Those who say dogs have no concept of time haven't spent enough time around dogs. Now I don't know if Baxter knows the difference between, say, 2 hours and 4 hours. He just knows it's been a while, and we get a normal greeting: bring the stuffed bear over and wag your tail. But he definitely knows the difference between 2 hours and 2 days: come running, wag tail vigorously and jump up and down with your front feet, smell the pants, jump up and down some more, then go get bear. Baxter hasn't seen my mom since the end of June, when we left her house in Arizona, so the greeting was more like: come running, wag tail vigorously, jump up and down with your front feet, run around in circles a bunch of times, jump up and down some more, and tremble with joy. An extended pack-member has returned to the nest! Wooohooo!
Baxter loves my mom. Last evening, as she sat on the couch cooing sweet grandma talk to him, he just sat there in front of her, with his big scruffy head on her lap, looking up into her eyes. With her, Baxter is pretty much a saint...a well-behaved foot-warmer, biscuit beggar and general all-purpose sweet loving thing. He knows he needs to be gentle with her. No rough-housing. And he walks differently with her too. It's as if he knows just how hard he can pull.
Grandma is going to be watching the grand-dog while the dog-parents are out of town, and Baxter is going to have a ball (sure beats the boarding kennel). And when we get back, I'm sure he'll be just as sweetly spoiled as any grandchild.