Chaucer lately

Chaucer has been amazing lately. Smart and obedient and responsive and as always, heartbreakingly empathetic.

The other day he was underfoot while I was cooking, so I asked him where his piggy was. Differentiating between his toys is something we've been working on for months, but he's not quite there yet. This time, though, I watched him think for a second, then glance around. He knew something was wanted of him. And I could tell he knew I wanted him to get a toy. He just wasn't sure which one.

He took a few steps away, still glancing around. And as I watched, his eyes landed on his ball, then his bone, but he didn't move toward either. I said it again. "Where's your piggy, Chauc? Go get your piggy!" And bless him, he walked around to the opposite side of my bed, saw the pink stuffed toy, and lunged for it.

He knew. He totally understood, and had gotten the right toy. My heart sort of had a small-scale explosion of love for him in that moment. He brought it to me, wagging his tail so hard. He could hear the delight in my exclamations of praise, and he was so happy to have pleased me so much.

He's been especially sweet with children lately. He always is, really; he just doesn't get that many opportunities to show it. But about a week ago some kids were on the sidewalk above Casey's, and they were over the moon excited when they saw Chaucer walking up. The adults reminded them to ask me if they could pet him, to which of course I said yes. And oh god, it was just the sweetest thing, watching five tiny sets of hands stroking his back, oohing and ahhing over him. He sniffed their faces with his huge nose, and they just giggled and squealed with joy.

I love when Chaucer obviously makes an adult's day, but when well-mannered and appreciative kids get to play with him, forget it. I turn to goo.

Here he is on Sunday, rudely ignoring Serena while I have coffee with her dad:

And here he is at the library today, where I unclipped him and let him look for cats (don't worry, they are WAY faster than him, and hear him bumbling around the bushes from a mile off):