Monday, August 29, 2011

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains

Princeton looks back to say, “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains”

When I say something that Princeton really likes, he stares intensely in my eyes as if to say, “Yes, yes, YES!” Usually he does it when I say words like “walk,” “go to,” or “park.”

But the other day we were listening to Josh Groban singing “You Raise Me Up,” and Princeton keyed in to the lyrics. (Yes, my dog is that smart!) It was the word “walk” that first caught Princeton’s attention. But he stared deep into my eyes through the whole song. I like to think that it expresses his feelings toward me:

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to WALK on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

Often I’ve been frustrated by Princeton’s strength pulling against me on the leash. But this song helped me see that my dog and I are strong together.

Until recently Princeton has been a giant dog who gave tiny, stingy little kisses. Usually he wouldn’t kiss at all. I trained him to kiss on command for a treat, but he would almost never kiss to show affection. Once in a great while he let the very tip of his tongue touch my skin for a split second.

For three years we kept trying to show him that we LIKE kisses. This week it was like he finally got it. One day I got seven kisses from Princeton! Every time he gives a kiss, he has a proud, happy look on his face, as if to say, “I finally figured out how to express love to humans!”

Princeton stands on another "mountain" with a much smaller friend