Previous Bailey posts are available under “Dog Stories” or “NaNoWriMo posts.”
My first experience with Bailey’s “physical lovin'” was when I babysat her about a month after Diamondqueen and TPM brought her home. They wanted a night out; they’d been married only about a month, and the puppy still required a level of attention that discouraged their being out of the apartment for very long at the same time. At least, that’s how they felt. They just weren’t ready to leave their furry little loved one alone, so Diamondqueen asked if I could babysit one Friday evening.
I was delighted to spend some quality time alone with my new “niece.” After her mommy and daddy left, Bailey and I played a bit, but she soon tired. I happily settled in on the sofa to watch TV with the puppy snuggled up against my hip.
After awhile she stirred and started to climb into my lap. My heart melted, and I glowed with this “awwww” showing of affection.
To my astonishment, though, Bailey continued to climb, pulling herself up onto the arm of the sofa, wrapping her legs around my forearm, and riding with a ferocity that must have recalled Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill.
It took me a few moments to gather my wits and disengage the small animal from my arm. I felt as though I was tugging off some perverse bracelet or cuff. I think her legs were still curled in her circular embrace when I finally freed myself.
Bailey continued her displays of affection throughout her life, and not just with me. Once Diamondqueen caught her getting ready to mount J.Hooligan as a toddler, the kind of “hug” the child didn’t need.
Her habit grew worst during the final years of Bailey’s life, although we never knew why. At a time when her lust and energy should have been waning, Bailey latched on to me regularly. Usually this happened when I was lying on the floor, playing with the kids. Bailey would sidle up as if something else were on her mind, virtually rolling her eyes at the ceiling and whistling in a nonchalant way. Then she’d wrap herself around my leg, and she never relinquished her hold easily. Often I’d shove her away only to have her spring back, taking me down again.
This also happened when I was sitting on the sofa or futon. And occasionally I was attacked while I was standing upright. In those instances, Bailey only clung with her front legs, but she had tremendous strength. I’d try to pull away and she’d stay right with me, hopping on her back legs like the Easter Bunny. A few times I hobbled into the other room, Bailey clinging and hopping the whole way.
No, it wasn’t affection, and it was obnoxious as hell. No amount of pushing and yelling deterred her. I suspected there might be a lot of alpha dog behavior behind it. Bailey considered herself queen of her domain — including everything and everyone in it. If she expected you to serve her desires, whatever they may be, she didn’t take “no” for an answer.