Z is not an animal person. She claims to love them in the abstract but we’ve only recently stopped her from screaming whenever a pet touched her. Since she’s been staying with us this month she’s seemed to bond a bit more with Freckles. She goes and hugs her. Freckles sleeps on her bed when I leave early to go work out. (That may be due more to the large stuffed bear that Freckles likes to rest her head on though.)
I noticed that after Z calms down from a meltdown she likes to give Freckles huge body hugs and talk to her about how horrible we are. I thought that was a good thing to be able to have a non-judgmental ear to listen to her version of the story. I forgot that Freckles is anything but non-judgmental.
On previous visits if Z has been carrying on, Freckles will walk out of the room while making big sighs. We point out that her behavior is even annoying the dog.
The other day after a crying fit, Z came downstairs to the sewing room where Freckles was sleeping on the carpet. She dramatically fell to her knees and threw her arms around the dog. She buried her face in her fur. Freckles looked at me over Z’s shoulder and the message was clear:
“Get. Her. Off. Me!”
I avoided eye contact. Eventually Z let her up and started talking to me. Freckles took her chance and tried to quietly sneak out of the room. Z noticed and called her back. Freckles walked back with her head hanging and got another bear hug. I avoided looking at her. All I could think of was the old joke about having to tie a pork chop around a kid’s neck to get the dog to play with them.
A few days ago I got called back from the grocery store because Z was acting up. I was met at the basement door by both Freckles and Powder. They never voluntarily head to the basement – especially not together. That gave me a clue that it was a bad tantrum. They both just stared at me. I guess I’m being held fully responsible.