Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alvin Gives Hugs

I got my first hug from Alvin and he learned how to hug from watching his mentor, Stevie.  Stevie is one of those older, sweet, dogs that I can always rely on to either be sitting next to me on the couch or at my feet.  When I leave the house even just to get something out of my car, Stevie greets me by repeatedly placing her front paws on my legs and her twittering tail really gets going.  Since she follows me every where and wants to be close to me, I have found it frustrating that she isn't much of a cuddler.  She'll often sleep in bed with me but if I try to hold her, she up and leaves me every time.  If I try to place her on my lap while she is next to me on the couch, I can depend on her to then jump down.  The only time I can guarantee that she will let me hold her is when we have gone to adoption events, and although she is deaf for all intents and purposes, she can hear the loud barking of other dogs and she insists that I hold her like a baby for the entire event.  She is not afraid of other dogs but I think the loud barking reminds her of the two months she was in a shelter in southern California.  Here is a picture of us at one of the events.

After nearly a year of her being here I have finally stumbled upon the way that Stevie will cuddle at home.  You all probably remember how much time I spent on the ground with Alvin but I didn't realize that being on the ground with Stevie was the answer too.  I recently came home to an extra exuberant Stevie and because she was leaping around like the Black Stallion, I sat on the floor so she wouldn't hurt herself while hurling herself at me.  This resulted in what can only be described as Stevie giving hugs.  It was just the sweetest thing, with Stevie repeatedly rubbing her face against my chest and then burying her head into me to get as physically close to me as possible.  She stood there with her head buried in me for the longest time while I hugged her back.  I then began trying it more often with the same huggable results.  Recently Alvin watched what Stevie was doing and after a few attempts, I will be darned if he didn't bury his head in my chest just like Stevie.  Not only did he imitate the hug but when Stevie came back around for more hugs, Alvin was quick to try to get back into the action.  It kind of freaks me out to see him observe Stevie and then to so closely duplicate what he just saw but I'll take it.  Now if I could just teach Stevie how to teach Alvin to roll over for belly rubs.... 

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