1. Air 360s. Every time I reach home, and I pull out my keys to unlock the front door, I can hear the excitement. Ice Cream, my beloved dog, never fails to leap with delight when we reunite after a long day apart. Always, she gets a few high jumps so elated with joy that she spins while in the air and literally does a complete 360.
2. Climbs trees. Yup. Well, not coconut trees, but if you give her a basic tree with big roots, you can watch her gather momentum, jump off the roots and scurry her paws up the trunk onto a thick branch. My theory is that her paws act sort of like little hooks that give her some grip to get up there. We’ve spent many afternoons together surrounded by leaves, sniffing the breeze.
3. Belly flops.
4. Gets annoyed at me and sighs with ‘tude. Literally. For example, in the morning, she watches me brush my teeth, wash my face, glob on some kind of SPFed face cream, all the other routine am things we do. Inevitably, when she sees I’m nowhere near ready to take her out for a walk, she plops down and sighs, waiting anxiously for me to realize that the great outdoors is calling us.
5. Kayaks. While I paddle, she navigates at the bow.
6. Knows when I’m having a nightmare. The other night, I had a bad one. I woke up startled and relieved it was only a dream. When Ice Cream was sitting one foot away from my face, immediately, my heart rate slowed down, and she sat with me until I felt ready to fall asleep again.
7. Hears my fiancé’s truck coming home waaaay before I can.
8. Skillfully herds us both like cattle. She is a herding dog by nature. So, she manages to use her talents on us. For example, when it’s 6 am and I’m trying to remember why I’m in the kitchen…ah, yes coffee! meds, vitamins, cereal… Sure enough, Ice Cream circles me, which then turns to U-shapes where she jog behind me and then to her food bin and then back again. Oh yes! I have to feed the dog. Unbeknownst, until later when I’m more awake, she has herded me to give her breakfast.
9. Judges character and personality with expertise. Relentlessly, Ice Cream knows who is a weirdo or a douche-bag. It took me a few years to take her alerts seriously. Once I did, I realized how many crappy/scammy situations I could have avoided.
10. Sits like a lady. Legs crossed. Poised. Perfect.
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