The family dog is very similar to the lions in the wonderful movie The Lion King. Our families coexist with the family dog similar to a pride of lions – living, eating and sleeping close to each other. I believe that our routines are predictable to our pooches, as day after day, year after year, they play out.
As a result, I am convinced that they choose their personal Pride Rock – that special place in our homes where they spend the majority of their time. Some dogs have a couple of Pride Rocks while others have only one. It may even depend on their mood or the time of the day.
Abby – our lab – has her favorite spots. Her predictable one is on the landing of our stairs. This place allows her to have a vantage point seeing out the small window in our front door if by chance someone should come up our front steps. Being at a higher elevation I think gives her the feeling of a watch dog “on duty.” She can also spy out our living room window from here with an awesome view of cars pulling into the driveway.
Another Pride Rock for her is our bed. She is allowed on when we are awake or during the daytime. It would be the “high-end penthouse” price if on the market with comfort and a view out four windows onto the street below. This allows “prime” viewing and nonstop entertainment all day. On days which I remember, I open the California shutters so that she can clearly see kids going out the door with parents on their way to school and the garbage and recycling trucks doing their thing without having to look through wooden slats. The mail and flyer delivery by new people bring vast excitement to her.
As she became a senior we allowed her onto our living room couch – funny how the rules get relaxed. Previously she had the opportunity to go on the family room couch or had the option of two very comfy dog beds – one upstairs and one downstairs. However, I caved and put a sheet over the couch and she can now hop up and have the main floor view of the street. The sheet allows for easy removal if guests come by and no dog fur is left behind as evidence.
Cleo – a sweet senior lab who boards – has her visiting Pride Rock with us. Her owners can’t believe it but she goes up and down our stairs to her prime location. In their home she rarely goes upstairs so we get a giggle from her vacationing habit. She always goes to a space between the side of our bed and the radiator. It is like clockwork; after a walk or a meal, or when she knows I am about to head to bed, she makes her way up to her spot. I have learned to put a soft blanket there for her mature body to rest and she makes herself comfortable. Some days she leans into the warm rad for a “treatment.” When she leaves after boarding it takes me days to not expect Cleo on her Pride Rock. I cautiously tip toe around the bed thinking she is settled in there but then remember she has headed home for no doubt another special spot!
When I go into homes I see the family dogs quite often in the same spot. It is their Pride Rock while waiting for me to take them for a walk. Lady – an adorable Cocker Spaniel – is always upstairs and it takes some calling to coax her down and I know why. Her Pride Rock is a very comfy couch which, in the mid-day is bathed in delicious sunlight. She loves to be there and snooze; who wouldn’t? She always delights in a stretch in downward dog position before heading out the door. Occasionally she finds happiness on a couch in their living room which is also a terrific sunning location.
Fulton – a dog I have walked for years – is 95 per cent of the time either sleeping on a chair by the front window or wide awake in this position watching for my car to pull up. He does not utter a peep until I step on to their front deck. He pops up from a comfortable vantage point and alerts his owner Janine and her adorable toddler son Cooper, that Becky is here. It is always five barks in a row like clockwork, fast and with intensity followed by a full body wag when I come in the door.
Jenna – my oldest senior dog – is quite predictably sleeping on her lovely bed or in their living room by an arm-chair. These are her Pride Rocks. I could bet money on these spots.
Is there a Pride Rock in your home?
P.S. Outdoor Pride Rocks are another post in months to come, stay tuned!
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