It's Friday, my Sabbath day, and I've spent most of it in bed. Hank has been my constant companion. He stood by the bed and gently reminded me that it was time to wake up this morning. He slept in his bed at the foot of my bed, woke up with me and accompanied me downstairs for lunch, then back upstairs. I just apologized to him for disturbing him when I got up to go to the bathroom. Now that it's past 4pm, he's dividing his time between the top of the bedroom stairs and the living room to keep an eye on me and be close to the door for when Sean and Walter get home. If they arrive any later than 5pm, he'll take up a post by the front door to wait for them more intently.
The receptionist at our vet's office observed yesterday that Hank is a "very family oriented dog." It's true. I worry about how much he worries about us. I feel terrible for his prematurely white muzzle, which developed during the last weeks of my pregnancy and first weeks of Walter's arrival. But I am thankful for his watchful, protective companionship, for his ministry of warm, furry presence.
This morning Walter delighted in bringing Hank his collar, and later his leash to get him ready for his morning walk. He greets his dog every morning with a cheerful "Hank-eeeee!" Walter knows. We're a lucky family.
Walter woke up this morning singing "Happy birthday day to you!" which is pretty neat, since it's his 16 month birthday today. He is bright and beautiful beyond bearing, really. I get overwhelmed at least once a day with it. This morning he also sang, "A, B, C ..." when he usually just says "A, B" and stops there. We were overjoyed and clapped and praised him. He was pleased but very embarrassed, tucking his chin down to his chest to hide his secret smile, turning around and heading right out the door of his room. The bashfulness ... where does it come from? Will it continue? Does he secretly know how to sing the entire alphabet already? I suspect he does.
These days Walter loves: his bath crayons ("colors!"), anything Jim Henson, especially Elmo (we may have had some influence, here, but he's taken to it like bath crayons to our tub,) crackers and cookies (sometimes foods, Walter, these are sometimes foods,) broccoli (gotta balance out the crackers,) being sung to and listening to music and, more and more, chiming in with the songs. He is perfecting the dramatic heavy sigh of frustration and disappointment. He occasionally makes wookiee noises when he's really upset. I don't laugh at him when he does this, but I do tuck my chin down and smile a little bit.