in contrast to the reaction our grandson Zander brings out in his Uncle Tommy, smiles and playfulness, which incidentally, is the same reaction that Uncle Tommy brings out in his one-year old nephew, Dexter’s behavior is, well, awkward.

For a dog raised his whole life around our sons, their friends, our family and neighbors, Dexter continually wants reassurance that he is noticed and receives attention whether at home or on walks. When Gramma is babysitting Zander, Dexter doesn’t seem to understand that he is not the center of attention while the baby is present. Dexter gets validation when a dog or a passerby notices him. If a passerby or another dog takes no notice of him, or if the dog growls, Dexter has what I interpret as whimpers of disappointment! If a dog growls at Dexter’s awkwardness, Comet will curtly stick up for his “little buddy”. Lately, both dogs have been distracted with all the comings and goings.

After a short visit of our middle son with “his” dog, Dexter, and some special time for them the other day, Dexter seems a lot more “together”. I noticed that also with the youngest adult son, others who can talk to him in the same language and were more experienced in intervention, handled an awkward situation to a successful next stage.

I may be looking at the drama and all the bit players around me all wrong. Perhaps I am the one who is awkward.


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