My boyfriend moved into my house almost a year ago. Today he’s my fiancé, and soon he will be my husband. Somehow, though, the most exciting new title he recently earned seems to be that of pack leader with my three dogs. It suits him very well.
When Nick and I met, he had most recently owned a cat. His cat had passed away from complications of cancer, and for several reasons he just hadn’t been able to get another one since then. I had also lost a dog to terrible cancer, and I’m sure that when we began dating the two of us were brought closer through the tales of our past pets.
After Nick and I had been dating for a few weeks he met my dogs. And I didn’t just have one pup in my house when he and I met, I was a single lady with THREE dogs. My one-and-a-half-year-old puppy Moxie was the first to win/steal his heart. They are truly a sight to behold together, especially how they mutually shower each other with affection.
Kiki is my old-lady dog, and a tougher nut to crack. She is fairly equal opportunity about not being fond of strangers. But by the time Nick moved in Kiki had decided that he was the one she preferred to have handle the breakfast feedings each morning. She also likes lying in the spot under his desk while he works at his computer. It took her some time, but she completely accepts him.
Kane is my only male dog, and he is quite a mama’s boy. He is the dog I got right after I lost my last boy dog to cancer. Upon our meeting Kane chose me. I think he knows how special his place is in my life and heart; he even sleeps sharing my pillow. When I have been away from home for several days, Kane makes the most pathetically sweet cries for me when I return. We are tightly bonded. But he and Nick… not-so-much.
I took some agility classes with Kane years ago, but the whole world smells so delicious to Kane that he would do a few things I asked of him. He’d jump over the bar and run through a tunnel, but then he would stop following directions and just run off on his own to smell something on the other side of the room. We stopped taking classes when it was apparent that he would rather be doing other things with his time.
A woman I met through agility classes at the dog club we belong to told me that they also offer a class in Nose Work. What could be more perfect for my little dog-man than a class that caters to his nasal whims? He would get rewarded for doing what he loves to do, smell things! I immediately signed Kane up for class, and that’s when it happened. Nick decided that HE would be the one to work with Kane in that class.
The class lasted for six weeks, and by the end, we had already signed up for round two. Nick and Kane were in the ring together for about an hour every week, Nick instructing our budding scent dog to “find it!” and Kane running around putting his head in boxes looking for the one that contained the delicious and smelly treat.
In addition to gaining some nose skills (Kane) and dog handling skills (Nick) and confidence (both of them) something else happened along the way. Last week I was watching TV on the couch, with Kane sharing my pillow. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Kane got up and walked over to where Nick was sitting to lay in his lap. All at once, he just decided he wanted some time with Nick!
Having my guys take a class together clearly got me much more than I bargained for. The two of them are falling in love. Just a few weeks before Nick and I get married (and make honest dog-kids of all three of our pups) we have a new pack leader. Nick has grown to love the dogs and call them his dog-children, and even declared that he just didn’t know how much of a dog person he was before he met me. The dogs, even my Kaney boy, have all learned to love and respect their papa Nick too.