When Pettigrew first joined our family he didn’t make a sound. For six weeks we never heard his bark.
Now he barks and bays like a coonhound, but during those first, quiet weeks of our acquaintance, we learned a different way of communicating. Pettigrew was uncertain, nervous, and eager to establish himself in our good graces; that is, when he wasn’t chewing on the furniture or lifting between-meal snacks off of the counters.
I’ll never know whether it was by accident or design, but Pettigrew would slip under the kitchen table and then emerge, with the tablecloth draped over his head, only his snout and eyes visible. It would stop us in our tracks. So cute!
Being a smart pooch, Pettigrew noticed that we were like putty in his hands if he did the tablecloth on the head trick and he employed this technique frequently.
As he became more acclimated and confident, he still ventured under the table, but less and less frequently would he pause as he emerged with the tablecloth resting on his head.
Except when I am blue. Somehow, Pettigrew always knows when something is wrong. I can be sitting at the table, reading the paper, talking to someone, or eating a meal and all of sudden I feel a warm, furry head plunk in my lap. Looking down, I see two deep brown eyes gazing up at me and a tablecloth is covering his head like a scarf. It always makes me pause and smile.
Pettigrew sticks around long enough to get a few rubs behind his ears and to make sure he has really and truly shaken off the fog in which I was lost. Then he ambles away to relax on the carpet under the dining room table, or perhaps, to curl up on the sofa. Clearly he believes his work here is done.