So last night, Lagniappe is getting on my nerves. He's barking at things outside that don't warrant barking at (neighbors that he knows, walkers on the road, nothing, etc.) so I finally bring him inside. Then he starts pestering me. I'm on the computer trying to work, and he comes in, puts his nose under my arm, and flips my hand off the keyboard. I hate, hate, HATE it when he does that, especially because he'll do it over and over again until he gets what he wants. Usually he wants dinner but he already got fed and he just came in so he doesn't need to go back out. Finally I yell at him. "KNOCK IT OFF!"
Apparently I hurt his feelings, because he turned and slunk out of the room, then came back in a few seconds later, deposited one of his favorite toys on the floor next to my chair, then turned and walked back out again, all without looking at me.Now I felt like a heel, because he obviously felt like he had to make amends for something. And you have to know him to understand how serious things have to be before he parts with his toys. I took a break from work, went and found him where he was sulking on the stair landing (his little Fortress of Solitude), and said those magic words that make all things ok again in Lagniappe-land: "Come on, let's go for a walk."
He practically flew to the back door and launched into his Happy Dance as I took his leash off the hook. He lives for walks.
So we spent the next hour walking down the dirt roads, watching the sun set and just enjoying the evening together. That was all he'd wanted--just some time and attention. And looking at the stuffed possum that was still on my office floor when we got back, I realized that sometimes the loudest messages are the ones most softly delivered.