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June 27, 2007

You know you’ve been a home-body when the simple act of putting on pants with a zipper or shoes that tie causes jubilation in your dog. It was a long winter here in Colorado. The snow started in October and remained fairly steady through just before Memorial Day. Thanks to three huge back-to-back storms around the end-of-year holidays, we had 7+ feet of snow on the ground at one point. Needless to say, we didn’t get out much since clearing our football-field-long driveway takes some doing. I didn’t realize how much my hermit status affected Lilly until the sound of a zipper begain causing chaos in the house.

It took me a while to realize what made her so happy, but she’d matched the sound of a zipper with going somewhere. I live in sweats at home, but I never wear them in public. Lilly figured that out.

It’s the same with shoes that tie.

I tend to flop around the house in slip-on shoes, unless we’re going to town.

As an experiment, I started putting my shoes on in the master bathroom, which is tucked in the corner way on end of the house. I untie them, put them on and tie them up as slowly as I can to mitigate sound. Yet, even if Lilly is at the other end of the house, she still comes running.

I know that part of her response is conditioning to my routine, but clearly her hearing is spot on, which makes me feel like a dolt, when I holler for her outside. And, from now on when she ignores a “Come,” I’m not buying it.

Lilly must notice all kinds of little habits I have. The latest one I discovered is that I must sigh heavily before I push away from my desk and get up. I sighed dramatically a few days ago, and Lilly came running. I had no plans to get out of my chair, but the sigh triggered her arrival.

So, while I struggle to find the tiniest patterns to predict Lilly’s reactions to the world, it seems she’s already cornered the market in studying mommy.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

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