Monday, November 27, 2006

Baxter: The Human Whisperer

Baxter is a human whisperer. I'm not kidding. I never realized this before because Baxter was an only dog, so all the communication between us was, well, between us. I've recently noticed that Baxter has become a sort of translator for Kirby when Kirby doesn't know the right signs to help us understand what he wants. When Baxter wants to go outside, he comes to me, sits down, stares for a short bit, then begins tapping my leg with his paw. If I don't respond he digs in his claws as if to say "I really have to go outside now." Kirby has figured out that he needs to go outside to do his business, but up to now, his only means of conveying the need has been to go and sit by the door. If, per chance, we missed this signal, we just might find a wet spot on the rug in front of the door.

The other day, when I was working with both Kirby and Baxter in my office, Kirby apparently went to sit next to the door. I was engrossed in something and didn't notice. Before a crisis occurred, Baxter came over to me and did the leg tap. I looked up, noticed Kirby and took them both outside. Bax just stood on the patio and supervised as Kirby did his business and then came back in. Bax didn't have to go, he was just making the request on Kirby's behalf.

This past weekend we were visiting my husband's parents. Out of the usual routine, we neglected to pick-up Baxter's water dish when Kirby was let out to play, and he got a belly full right before bed. We held off turning in for about 45 minutes and kept taking Kirby outside, but apparently it took a bit more time to process. At 3:00 am Kirby started rattling around in his crate. Now sometimes he rattles around just in the course of changing position in the night, and we were half asleep, so our response was a bit delayed. Suddenly I heard Baxter get out of his bed, go over to the crate and then come around the side of the bed closest to the door. He sat there, staring. Then he nuzzled my husband's hand. Kirby really has to go out. I got up and took Kirby outside and he proceeded to do his business. At 3am. In the rain. And all I could think of as I stood out there, eyes half open, was how cool it was that Baxter came to us on Kirby's behalf. He's a Kirby translator. A human whisperer.

I wonder what Baxter's telling Kirby about us...?

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