Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Penny-dance

Before the weekend, I wrote that Sensi would be thrilled to see the Halti.
I was so focused on the drama of the black lab confronting us that I forgot to report on what a good boy Sensi was.
He was very excited to see me pull out my boots and his walking gear. As I was putting on my boots and had his leash and Halti next to me, I finally said it.
“You wanna go for a walk?” I asked him.
My question garnered the Sensi-dance, which I should really call the Penny-dance.
Sensi was raised around a mother and daughter pair of Britneys owned by some friends of ours. The daughter, Penny, had two quirks about her that I’ll always remember.
One, she wouldn’t greet anyone at the door until she had her stuffed animal in her mouth.
Two, she did a little dance every time before she went outside. The Penny-dance goes like this: Penny walks to the door, asks to go out. You walk over. “Wanna go outside?” you ask. Penny does a play bow — where she puts her front paws down but sticks her rear in the air (It’s dog body language for “let’s play” or “I’m friendly”) — and then jumps around, doing play bows in every direction.
Both Penny and her mother passed away a few years ago, but I like to think that they live on in Sensi because they passed social traits and behaviors — like the Penny-dance — on to him.
The neatest thing is that our friends got a new puppy, also a Britney, and Sensi taught him the Penny-dance. So now Penny lives on in their new dog too.
After Sensi danced around his leash, he sat nicely for me to get him all hooked up. Then out the door we went — with me exiting first, of course — and he walked calmly at my side. He even waited patiently for me to deal with the lab; no pulling, barking or further antagonizing the other dog.
He was so good that on Sunday, he even got a round of compliments from Dad.
“You were a good boy, Sensi. Such a good dog,” Brent said when we returned home, earning Brent a bunch of "thank-you" licks on his face from our four-legged friend.

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