Cura and I have been together since 2009. We want to thank all of you who followed the early days as well as those who popped back on occasion during the long hiatus. Training was done, the days passed, and we were settling into our life together.
Fast forward: Cura is slowing down and a new member of the family is in training. On top of that, we are all busy with our new calling . . . Running the Training Department for Paws and Stripes. Join us on our journey!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Looks can be deceiving . . .

One of the things that Cura has to do a lot is lay quietly at my feet (or some other out of the way spot) and wait.  This is something that she has become very good at and she can lay quietly for up to two hours, provided she is on a comfortable surface, without needing to get up and stretch.  This comes in very handy when I am teaching in a classroom, attending a lecture, in training classes, or in a restaurant.  Frequently, Cura just puts down her head, shuts her eyes, and dozes (or the doggie equivalent).  To the outside observer, it looks like my beloved companion is out for the count, blissfully sleeping the time away.  This is simply not the case, but you would have to know her to realize this.

As I sit here typing, in my comfy chair in front of my laptop, Cura is on her fluffy, round, blue bed . . . snoring.  She did budge a little bit when I took this picture, but soon returned to her nap.  (I love the way the camera picked up the brown in her fur in this shot!)  

Usually she has the sweetest, delicate, little snore (though on one or two occasions it has reached the chainsaw level).  Frequently, depending on the surrounding sounds, no one even knows that she is snoring.  I appear to be the only one who usually notices.  My guess is that there are a couple of reasons for that.  First, I am usually the person closest to her; second, I am hyper-aware of her at all times when I am awake and frequently even when I am not; and third, there is something about her that changes when she is truly asleep and snoring -- I just 'know' that she is not keeping tabs on me.

Cura never truly sleeps (or snores) when we are out.  Even if she appears to be asleep, the moment I move her eyes are open and she is ready to jump (sometimes literally) into action.  Frequently, even if I am just shifting my position, she will look up at me -- waiting for a further signal that we are ready to move.  Actually, that is a development in her behavior.  Previously, she would just jump up whenever I moved.  Now, while she still anticipates my needs, she has learned to double check instead of assume -- it has saved her from getting up for no reason on several occasions because I need to shift my position fairly frequently when sitting for any period of time.  I too am starting to develop a new habit as a quiet way to let her know I am ready to move -- just a little tap on her shoulder blades lets her know it is time to go!  Of course, she is not always in a place where I can reach her -- but it is an addition to our 'vocabulary'.  

I always love to hear Cura snore . . . to me it signals her complete relaxation.  It means that she feels that we are in a safe place and she can let her guard down a bit.  I also find it comforting when I see her dozing at my  feet in public.  It means that, although she is still alert to any need I may have, she is sure enough in her abilities and surroundings that she doesn't have to watch everything around her.  Instead, she can put her head down, shut her eyes, and doze . . . but don't think she isn't aware of everything that is going on around her -- especially if it pertains to me!

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