Monday, October 17, 2016

Parenthood: Week 174 - What does Buffy say?

This week Ollie became aware that we speak for Buffy. Many dog owners speak for their dogs, giving them opinions and voice. We started doing this as a cute playful thing when Buffy was a puppy. While at first it was silly, now we do it as a way to empathize with Buffy and consider her thoughts and feelings.

Ollie started to ask us what Buffy is saying as he became aware that we sometimes speak for her. He knows that Buffy doesn’t talk besides her whines and her barks and simply accepts that we interpret her thoughts for her.

Walking around the living room this morning, he asked me every couple minutes what Buffy was saying. First I explained that she said, “I’m hungry, where’s my breakfast?” and later “I don’t want to play, I’m eating.” Ollie wants to be able to understand and communicate better with Buffy and he uses us as translators in an effort to make a deeper connection to Buffy.

A couple nights ago, Ollie asked for Buffy to come into his bed for the first time. It was story time and Ollie asked me what kind of books Buffy liked to read. Answering for Buffy I replied, “I like books with doggies in them.” Ollie then jumped out of bed and came back a couple with “Dragons Loves Tacos,” Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri and “Doggies” by Sandra Boynton.

Ollie usually is a pretty, “start from the beginning of the book,” kind of reader, but this time  he flipped through the pages of “Dragon Loves Tacos,” and each time he found a page with the dog in it, he pushed the book over to Buffy, “here’s the doggy!” “Doggies” is a counting book with different dogs and a variety of barks and growls. Ollie took turns counting and making the doggy sounds, and he made sure to point out to Buffy the one dog that looked like her in the book.

Buffy jumped off the bed as Ollie got under his covers and he protested that he wanted Buffy to stay. I explained that she wanted to go on the floor and we needed to give her space. He eventually calmed down after I brought Buffy back up to the bed so he could give her a hug and kiss goodnight.

Buffy and Ollie's relationship continues to evolve and it's wonderful to see them interact and spend time with each other.  Buffy is not the type of dog who jumps up and licks Ollie every time he comes home.  However when Ollie is with grandma and we’re home with Buffy, she is often unsettled and whines worried about Ollie.  This is a reminder that as much as Buffy is Ollie's puppy, Ollie is Buffy's special little guy.

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