knows how to get what he needs. He is also completely at my mercy for everything from food to access to the yard or rides in the car. He depends on Bentley is gifted the kindat expressing ness of huhimself mans. In fact, he ended up in rescue three times because he suffered separation anxiety. He ate a bathroom once while the owner was away. Bentley clearly knows who is in control. Are his displays of affection really what they seem? Does he really think I am the best thing ever, or
only until someone else comes along with a can opener and good motor skills? Sure, I think he means it. At least, as much as we do when we laugh and slap our knees at the boss’s bad jokes. Dogs are social animals, just like us. Civility greases the wheels. Respect and trust come with time, which is where Bentley and I are now. He listens to me intently. I listen to him, too. Luckily, he is gifted at expressing himself to dull-witted humans. He pokes me when he wants my attention. He runs to the door and sits when he wants out. His eyes drift lazily and longingly to the other dogs’ food bowls when he wants more food—theirs. We’re doing mat work, helping him with positive training to relax and turn the reins over to me more. We go for rides and walks. I try to meet all his needs, including letting him lay across me at night on the couch while we watch TV. I do still insist on hanging onto the remote. n Bob McMillan is a newspaper editor and columnist who lives in the foothills of Middle Tennessee with his Irish wolfhound, several rescues and a remarkably tolerant cat.
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BARKS from the Guild/July 2014
Your BARKS summer edition. The quarterly publication from The Pet Professional Guild