I’ve been trying for a week to figure out how to articulate something I’m sure many other dog people have experienced. I’m equally sure many of those people have explained the phenomenon much better than I ever will.
But here goes.
Something shifted in my relationship with Jack last Sunday. I can tell you the exact moment it happened, though I didn’t realize it until a couple of hours later. The shift was subtle, but also paradigm shifting for me.
He became my partner, my true friend, a piece of me.
I know that sounds over the edge for lots of people, even people who love animals. But something shifted as I crossed the start threshold with him at the ORT. We became more than just handler and canine. We became a team. He understood what I asked him to do, and he did it. Willingly. With joy. I watched him work that hide in awe of his abilities, knowing I had to trust him completely to show me where it was, and that he would show me.
More than just me reading his alert.
I asked him to do something.
He agreed to do it.
He gave me information.
I understood what he told me.
A team. A partnership. A friendship truly from the heart.