Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kirby the Cuddler?

Some sort of transformation has happened in Kirby. I know, I've covered this before, but the subtle and not-so-subtle changes in this puppy are downright fascinating.

This is true for all puppies, to some extent. We watched Baxter grow from being kind of unfocused as a wee puppy to gonzo as a teenager to the wise, calm fellow he became as an adult. But through it all, he has always been a very affectionate dog. He always wanted to be near us. He still follows me around the house all day long, sleeps with his head on my feet, etc. He doesn't want to be in the yard by himself for very long because he wants to be where we are. He does well when left alone (no separation anxiety), but he also looks to us for guidance most of the time.

Kirby came out of the starting gate with that independence of a terrier. He was an incredibly self-directed puppy. Instead of following me around or coming to my office when I went to work, he seemed perfectly satisfied to play in the other room alone or sleep under the sofa. He considered "come" to be a suggestion rather than a command and things were always on HIS terms. We rather expected him to be a cuddler, but he really seemed uncomfortable being picked up and held for very long. In spite of his small size, which makes it really tempting to hold him in your arms, he would just struggle or try to start chewing on you.

Well, something has changed in the last week. All of a sudden, Kirby is Mr. Affectionate. He now follows Baxter as he follows me around the house. He consistently sleeps at my feet (right now Baxter on the right and Kirby on the left). When we're watching a DVD in the evening, Kirby sleeps with some part of his body touching either my or my husband's feet. And when we lay down on the floor, he comes over and snuggles. I have even caught Kirby and Baxter curling up together for a nap on several occasions. I never thought I would see that happen.

Yesterday he was standing on his hind legs next to my desk chair with his front paws on my leg. As a test, I picked him up and put him in my lap. He just licked me under the chin and snuggled-in as if he would be happy sitting there for a long time.

My husband likes to stretch out on the floor each afternoon for a nap with Baxter. These naps are usually interrupted by Kirby pouncing on top of him (my husband and/or Baxter), walking around on his stomach, chewing on his nose, etc. This usually results in Kirby being banished to my office where he sits looking at the closed door. But the other day Kirby just crawled up and stretched out next to my husband, nuzzled into his side and snuggled. This is new. He did the same thing with me yesterday morning. And he's coming when I call him too.

Oh I don't think he's quite at the mellow stage Baxter has achieved, but Kirby's definitely becoming a more affectionate dog. Perhaps his terrier-ness just manifested itself in the puppy phase and some other lap dog in his lineage is just now coming out. In any case, I'll take it!

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

Isn't it neat when the spazziness of puppyhood settles a bit and they become more temperate in their actions?