I'd like to think that my dog is smarter than average...we all would, right? He was already an adult when I got him so I didn't ever go through that sweet, laugh-at-your-puppy-goofiness-because-he-has-a-lot-to-learn stage (like, ooops, the kitchen floor is slippery and look how far I can slide). He already had some things figured out when I got him. Placing one big paw on someone definitely gets their attention. It also got him booted from his last household so I'd already decided to overlook that when I got him. Still "no paws!" is a common refrain in the Hamilton household.
A sweet stare with a tilt of the head is an emotional appeal that works especially well when mom feels guilty for working too much or traveling. He's shameless and I'm on to him. There's also the cold nose nudge (when mom needs a little surprise) and sitting in front of me with his back to me (as if to say "pay me some attention right now or YOU are in the dog house lady!"). He would simply soak of every minute of attention you would give him without getting tired of basking in your love. And it's not just mom's love he's after...price of admission to the household is a certain amount of expressed affection for the dog, preferably involving a vigorous belly rub (the dog's belly, not yours).
I've developed a strategy for dealing with it that involves ceasing all eye contact with said dog. Actually, in order to do this, I close my eyes so he doesn't attempt to scurry to be in my line of vision, wherever it's aimed. Yes wherever I am, I simply close my eyes. It seems quite natural on the couch and can lead to an unexpected nap. When it doesn't look so natural is when I'm actually doing something. I just hope my neighbors can't see in the house.
Today, Jonas employed a new tactic, based on some new circumstances. First, it's been raining here for about a month...yep, a month. The backyard is so muddy that a spirited game of b-a-l-l (we don't say it out loud here) is kind of out of the question. Also, I've been working form home more given some changes to our team that have resulted in most work communication being by e-mail anyway (more about that later, in case some of you noticed that I dropped "finance" from my blog header...will something else be added back in? maybe). So I got my desk-in-an armoir thing all set up to work effectively from home which means Jonas has a hard time plopping on my feet as I work There's just not the space for it. I imagine that is very frustrating to my attention loving little buddy. His new tactic? Sitting in front of mom and shaking like a mad-man until she rubs his belly (and the shaking stops...amazing), then trying to get into the armoir (I kid you not)..face in, in the slot where you would put your CPU. What the?
This is blossoming weirdness. When I laugh at him, he seems excited because...surprise!...it means he's getting attention. I've noticed similar behavior a few times before; for example, I was clearly sleeping when he wanted to p-l-a-y (you know why) so he tried as much as he could to get under my antique pedestal night table and face the corner of the room (which freaked me out as my alarm clock went sliding). Face in the corner like a naughty little boy, but for some reason, it has to take place under furniture. Hey, if I could explain it, I'd be on Oprah right now.
I think I just realized that I passed my self-loathing on to my dog (come on...you are the ones that made me watch the Apprentice). Because I can find no other explanation for this type of behavior.