I remember the first time I found out Reagan had a dog. It was early on in our dating, and he was trying to get an idea of what I thought about dogs. He discovered I am more of a lap dog sort of girl. I like dogs that will sit on my lap quietly and cuddle while I read a book or watch a movie. I told him I didn't like big dogs. That's when he told me about Gipper, his white, German Shepherd. I amended my earlier quote to be more specific about what I don't like about big dogs. I don't like when they jump on me. It's intimidating because I get the sense that they're stronger than me, and I am powerless to remain standing or get them to do what I want them to do.
When I met Gipper for the first time, I got to see how excitable he can get--being that he LOVES people and was still a bit of a puppy. He normally is not much of a jumper, but you can bet in his excited frenzy that he jumped on me. One time, when we were sitting on the couch, Reagan leaned over to give me a hug and Gipper got so excited from the unexpected movement that he leaped up and kicked me smack in the middle of the forehead. Reagan was horrified, as he was still trying to impress me in the initial pursuit and knew I was wary of big dogs, so he knew he had some convincing to do still to get me to like his dog. It was however, a good chance to see how great Reagan is with dogs. He's done an excellent job of training Gipper, and even last week I was stunned at how quickly Gipper's behavior changed toward me based off something Reagan had been working on with him.
Gipper liked me initially, but he was also a little wary. He quickly realized that Reagan was paying a little more attention to me when I came over and not quite as much attention to him! ;) So he made sure to make his presence known via loud yawns, rapid spins, a paw on the knee, and a slobbered-on, dog toy in the lap. Over time, he grew accustomed to me and I to him. He's one of the sweetest, most lovable dogs I've ever met.
This summer, I had the opportunity to pet sit while Reagan was on a business trip, and it truly took our relationship to a whole new level. Gipper went from depressed and moping about Reagan being gone to becoming my happy little side kick. I was cracking up when Reagan returned because when we sat on the couch together, Gipper walked right past Reagan to sit by me! I think I have won him over with daily trips to the dog park. ;) He knows when I come over in the middle of the day it means we're going to the dog park so he can get his energy out. Today, he was racing from one room to the next and stopping only to spin in about 4 circles before chasing after me so as not to let me out of his sight to make sure I took him along with me to the park.
He continued to not let me out of his sight the rest of the evening, and as a last resort, ditched his own bed to sleep on my overnight bag. Either he's lonely about Reagan being gone, or I'm his favorite person ever, and he has a compulsive need to be near me no matter what. Either way, I'd say he's not so wary about me being around anymore!
We have become our own little family--none of us complete without the other. You can bet your bottom dollar that this handsome fella will be in our Christmas cards and future baby announcements once Reagan and I are married. ;)