Young Pip is a wonderful addition to our lives. He’s enthusiastic, loving, and generally delightful. When we come in, he’s so pleased to see us that he almost can’t contain himself. He sits, but he bounces because he can’t quite control his tail and legs. And if he meets us outside, he runs round and round and round, bumping each set of legs in turn. It’s a great thing to be so unreservedly loved.
He’s gotten very good at telling us what he wants as well. He goes to the back door, noses the bag of dog biscuits, and looks at his bowl when he wants me to feed him. And he sits beside his leash and points at it with his nose when he thinks it’s time for a walk. I find myself following his instructions more than I realise. It’s a fascinating lesson in just how much we communicate without words.
Despite all his charms, he’s also ruthlessly opportunistic, always looking to see what he can get away with. He sits on the sofa and chairs now because I felt sorry for him after he was neutered and let him sit on my knee one evening. And after that it was all over. He’s colonising my bed as well. Petra invites him up because she likes watching him stand all over me and lick my face – it’s a charming way to wake up. So now, if he gets through the house, he’s quick to get up on the bed and make himself comfortable.
He gave me a funny reminder of just how alert he is to any possible advantage when I went to down to the washing machine the other day. I usually say “stay” before I go through the gate, but I forgot. He looked at me and when I didn’t give the command, he shot out the gate and down the bank. He was two houses away by the time I put down the armload of clothes I was carrying and made it out to the street. He trotted home quite happily when I called, but his alacrity was pretty impressive. It’s like living with a toddler. They’ve got nothing to do but see what they can get away with, and young dogs seem very similar.