Among the many insights about how to relax and live the good life that I had while vacationing with my parents in the Adirondacks this summer, I think the best one was on the importance of connecting with Lamar Latrell, my 11-year-old handsome Anatolian puppy-man.
It was as if I needed a chance to feel that deep sensation of relaxation before I could just stop and really notice Lamar and think about our connection.
So in the Adirondacks, I took lots of time to just enjoy Lamar. I was so happy that he was willing to sleep with me, which he has not been for a long time here at home. Probably because of the tension of his and Fozzie's bedtime routine, which was somewhat relaxed in the neutral environment of my parents' house.
Lamar is not the bedtime-cuddliest dog in general; his old lady Tashi was to a much greater degree.
Lamar's a guy who likes his own space, and since he's so sensitive and has anxious tendencies, he needs to feel comfortable before he can relax enough to let himself be cuddled.
When we weathered Hurricane Irene in the van near Chesapeake Bay, Lamar slept close to me. He didn't have much of a choice, but he also didn't seem to mind when I stroked his ears to help him relax with the wild storm noises or when I held his paw.
Sigh. I do try to respect Lamar's personal boundaries--really I do! But who could resist a face like this?