My dog Jeffrey is well loved and a lot spoiled, especially since all of the kids left home. He’s a sweetheart, but he’s also a big galoof with a somewhat tiny brain. We accept that about him.
He’s also very large and probably slightly scary to people who don’t know he’s just a big cream puff who hides from the vacuum and thinks I can’t see him if he’s behind a ladder-backed chair. So watching him turn into Vigilant Guard Dog was a source of amusement to me and my husband Eric over the weekend.
Layla came to visit and Jeffrey fell in love.
Layla is my 2-month old granddaughter. She lives with her mom and dad in Rochester, along with a black lab and two cats. She wasn’t overly impressed with a big spotted dog who poked her in the face a few times with his nose (because seriously, he can’t tell where his face ends). She smiled when Jeffrey gave her a welcoming slurpy, winced a bit later when he accidentally batted her in the face with his tail, and gleefully grabbed handfuls of hair and tugged when her Grandpa propped her up on the floor and put her little hands in Jeffrey’s fur so she could feel the soft puppy.
She does pretty much the same thing with her dog, Sayzie. Layla might not have been too impressed, but Jeffrey fell head over heels for the little chubby baby.
He’s been around little ones before, but not for any extended length of time. Our neighbors have little ones around occasionally, and other than cleaning up their faces, Jeffrey doesn’t seem to notice. (Except for when the neighbor girl used to ride him like a horse. He kept an eye out for her after that and would usually flop down in the grass when the little girl approached, thwarting her plans for a gallop.)
After he fell in love, he never strayed more than a few feet from his new baby. If she was in the baby swing, he was under it. If she was on the floor, he was next to her. And if someone was sitting on the couch holding Layla, Jeffrey was right under their feet. Vigilant Guard Dog.
He slept upstairs in the guest room the whole time Maggie and Layla were visiting, and when she woke up and let out a squeak, he high-tailed it downstairs and stood by me and whined. I thought he wanted to go out, but he just kept glancing at the door leading up the stairs and then at me, as if to say, “Layla’s up. Go get her!”
Anytime she fussed, he eyed every adult in the room to see what they were going to do about it. And I’m pretty sure he smiled when he inadvertently touched his cold nose to her belly after her bath (really, he doesn’t know where his nose ends) and she chortled with joy.
It’s going to be sad to watch him mope for the next few days when he realizes his sweetheart had gone home. And I’m certainly not going to be the one to tell him his love is an unrequited one.