Since the day I brought Santiago home from the S.P.C.A., it’s pretty much a guarantee that whatever room I am in, so too, is he. It can also be proven that (aside from playing fetch) if I am sitting he is either right next to me or on my lap, or shoulder (trust me); if I am standing, he is sitting right behind my feet; if I’m “ocupado” he is sitting about three feet in front of me… watching (yea, it IS creepy); and if I’m in bed, he’s in bed generally curled up at my side or under the covers at my feet.
There are drawbacks to this. First and foremost, Santi is only 3 pounds, while I am substantially larger. The risk of harming him, albeit accidentally is very real! Stepping on him, rolling over onto him, etc. It can get a little overwhelmingly ‘Orwellian’ at times as well. Big Brother is watching your every move through two tiny dark eyes behind a tiny wet nose.
On the other hand, he’s a very substantial three pounds and when he’s found just the right spot, he won’t be denied. If that spot is where you thought you wanted to be, well then he’ll ensure you decide you really didn’t like it and he moves in to take possession.
This is especially true of the bed in the middle of the night. God-forbid you get up to get a glass of water, or have a ‘follow-up’ to that glass of water. Faster than you can say ‘bed-hog’ he’s in the cozy, body warmed depression you just left in the mattress and blankets. When you get back to bed you have to work around him. The only other option is to move to the sofa. But then he’ll follow and snuggle on in next to you soon enough and the cycle begins again.
That aside, a benefit of this closeness had been leash training… or I should say, the lack of needing leash training. Because he has a natural affinity of wishing to be near me, I didn’t have to train him to follow me on a lead, to stop when I stopped, to turn when I turned and so on. He just did it. I have been reliably informed (*cough cough* Chachi) that some dogs require repeated training.
Outside of the house, Santiago is never off his leash. But to every rule is an exception. And that exception took place over the past two weeks. While on vacation, Santiago got to walk/run/romp on the Beaches of Prince Edward Island. And for as much as he frolicked, the good boy that he is he stuck close to his Papi[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCFaDyLEUfM[/youtube]
(Video courtesy of my partner Marcel “Pinky” Gingras)
I know it sounds silly and a little cliché but knowing that this little beastie wants nothing more than to be that close to me, fills me with so much warmth and love that I get emotionally overwhelmed at times. The last year has seen many highs and lows but the constant for me throughout it all has been my own personally Three Pound Unconditional Love Supply. It is such a pure and honest love you get from a dog. I am continually amazed and humbled by it.
I don’t know what I did in my life to have deserved him, but I thank my lucky stars every day that he’s mine, shadow and all and I am his.