I have a supervisor in my house, who I completely love, adore, look up to for guidance/counseling and have nothing nasty to say about. He is perfect or very, very close to being that.
He is handsome and yellowish white. He has a long snout, pinkish brown nose, floppy ears and when he turns on the charm, he gets squinty eyed and irrestistable. He is mostly serious but once in a while, he lets his guard down and shows us his wild side. More about that later, but I must tell the universe why he is the best supervisor in the whole wide world, why I am head over heels in love with him and why someone should write a book on leadership qualities after observing him.
First of all, he is a young man of few words. He guides with his eyes, and sometimes by licking his chops. I like that. Verbosity is not what I need when the children and the husband are out of the house. He lets me have head space but clearly gets the job done by communicating with his beautiful amber eyes. He lets me know when it is time to wake up by standing next to my bed, wagging his tail and blowing doggy breath on my face. Don’t snicker, it is a great way to open my eyes, stretch my arms and leisurely scratch between furry ears. How awesome is it to wake up and be told by silent communing that you are a wonderful human and you are thoroughly loved?
His internal body clock tells him when it is time to wake Ryan. He stands in front of Ryan’s door and tells me with his eyes to do his bidding – ‘Open Ryan’s door please!’ And when I do, he bounds in and nuzzles Ryan’s face, second round of doggy breath exhaled on a human face. Ryan groggily says, ‘Good morning Sage!’ Morning work done!
He doesn’t micromanage yet effectively directs me to important chores like morning walks, feeds, a rawhide bone, toy. His eyes say ‘Yes, I understand you are messaging your college friend via social networking site, and I understand it is important. I will just stand here and look at you with my beautiful eyes and keep the smile on my face! I can wait!’ That works. I am guilted into hastily signing off and fetching the leash.
He shows me where his rawhide bones are kept. He stands in front of them and shifts his paws in the same place, wags his long bushy tail and intermittently licks his chops, while his eyes dart back and forth to the bag of rawhide bones and my face. His will is done. How can I resist? Am I not a mere mortal?
On walks, when I pull him from clumps of dry leaves, he turns his Sagely, somber, beautiful face and says (just always understand, Sage’s saying is with his eyes, so I don’t have to repeat), ‘Human, I understand you do not want me to defecate in that clump of dry leaves because it is difficult to pick up, but please understand, this place smells just right to do my business. Bear with me, for the sake of love that you have for me.’ I obey.
My supervisor is at his best when I haul groceries from the car. After a weekly trip to a retail store for bulk groceries, I feel overwhelmed at the amount of ‘junk’ we need for our family. I rant about having to carry all the items inside the house from the car, I strategize how I can trick my husband into doing the shopping after work. My supervisor, however, gets very motivated at the prospect of sniffing groceries. He detracts me from my evil thoughts of making the husband do it by the spring in his steps and the wag in his tail as he excitedly sniffs the trunk and urges me to open it. After a good round of sniffing, he accompanies me on every trip back and forth from the car to the house with the hearty assurance that I am doing a fantastic job, I am a strong human and I ‘got this.’ He goes in and out of the house saying, ‘I would help you with this if I could, if only my forepaws could carry, but I will not sit around idly as you trek back and forth, I will be with you every step of the way!’ Once all the grocery is brought in, he jumps in the trunk of the minivan and sniffs each crevice to make sure all items have been removed, before I lock the car.
He spends longer time sniffing and licking chops and showing his approval on those rare occasions that I purchase meat or fish. He is the perfect leader. He is not overbearing, he is calm and reassuring instead. He is not bossy but leads by making me feel I am part of whatever idea he came up with. Giving him a bone, taking him for his walk, feeding him, playing tug of war, belly rubs and rolling ball etc were joint decisions. I feel empowered and appreciated. He indulges me by letting me stroke his soft fur and relax after a long day. He endures my baby talk and squeaky voice and even humors me by going squinty eyed and rolling on his back, babylike. He calmly tells young pups to mind their manners when they jump on his snout. If a fellow dog barks at him, he looks quizzically and moves on, a picture of poise and grace. He herds the children constantly and gently rebukes Ryan if he plays too rough. He keeps a close eye as the man of the house does yard work. And makes sure he recieves the belly rubs and pats when he desires by looking at his man with chocolate drop eyes full of love. He has got us dancing to his tune without making us feel we are doing so. We are happy to do it. We live to do it. A true leader, I say.
When the day is done, he waits patiently for me to place his rug by my side of the bed, just so. Sometimes Ryan sneaks his rug into his bedroom to lure Sage in his room. But Sage loves to sleep with the grown up humans, so he waits till his rug is reinstated in its rightful place. Finally he settles down with a contented sigh and yawn, but flicks an eye open when one of his team members get up to go to the bathroom or get a drink. Ever vigilant, ever caring leader of the pack.
Now, there are wild moments when someone comes to visit. Our gentle leader loses his self control in his exuberance to make the guest feel welcome. He also forgets his size as he tries to crawl on their laps. He forgets himself sometimes when I make sandwiches and pitifully begs, or should I say silently wills a piece of cheese or meat to fall on the ground. But we will ignore that. After all, what is there to strive for if we attain perfection?