I've had this picture sitting on my desktop for months now.  I know I used it in a post earlier this fall, but there's a second story here.

Zeus was our first family dog and our smallest.  He was a sweet little dog who was always happy to play.    He's not really the reason for this post though.

Notice Lyn in the background.  She's sitting on the couch and has pulled her feet up off the ground while I play with Zeus.  As much as she loved our dogs, she was never comfortable really playing with them.  Our theory was that the movement was just too much for her and she wasn't sure what the dog was going to do next.

Despite choosing to sit on the sidelines, Lyn was engaged in the play between us kids and the dogs.  She would watch and laugh.  She would sometimes call out encouragement.  She would not rough house with them at all though.

Our dogs have all responded to Lyn differently than they did to the rest of us.  They quickly learned to not try and engage her in active play.  Instead, they would sit and accept attention, rubs and love from her.  They might rest their heads on her knees or put a paw in her hand.  It was a gentle exchange of affection between them.  It didn't matter if it was one of the dogs that lived in the family home with Lyn or if it was one of mine.  The pattern has been consistent.

Today, Lyn repeats the same gentle approach with Nikka.  She may occasionally toss a ball for the dog, but her preferred method is gentle engagement.  Nikka, unlike the rest of our dogs, doesn't just sit and accept this from Lyn.  She is just as gentle as Lyn but she's a lap dog.  She's silent and subtle but in a few seconds of attention, you'll find she's got you in a hug or that she's suddenly in your lap.  Lyn loves this even more than she loved watching us play in ways she was never comfortable doing.


  1. Now she will sit on the floor with Nikka so the dog can completely sit in Lyn's lap.


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