As I sat reading this morning with my coffee, immersed in the moment, enjoying what I thought was solitude, I suddenly felt like I was being watched. Without moving my head, suspecting the dog, I use my peripheral vision to glance to my left. Indeed, there was the dog standing silently outside, less than a metre away with only a pane of glass between us, staring intently at me through the window.
Usually when he wants in, he barks. He has this annoying bark he uses only for that purpose. We call it his 'pushy puppy' bark. It has a hint of whine. It's demanding and needy. Lately though he's taken to this psychic communication. It's as though he's not only read Rupert Sheldrake's book Dogs that Know when their Owners are Coming Home but also his work on The Sense of Being Stared At and decided to combine them both and see how far he can get with them.
It is mildly unnerving to realize the dog has been staring at me for God knows how long, waiting patiently and for some reason known only to himself choosing not to bark. Once I turn my head and stare at him directly, he doesn't move his body, but his tail wags slightly while he continues to look keenly into my eyes. It's like he's reeling in a fish. Like he's a duck toller and I'm the duck:
"That's right Master. I'm looking at you. Now get up. Walk to the door and let me in."
When I do just that and greet him at the door, he's freezing. He's only been outside about 15 minutes but it's a cold morning. There's frost. "So why not bark if you're cold?" I ask him this out loud.
His response is to lean into me while I rub all his favourite spots and silently will me to never stop. My reward is this moment, realizing again just who the Master is in this relationship.