Stay close

Zoe 'n Me {a dog blog} Stay close | Jordan benShea

When I adopted Zoe I knew little about her except that she was three and a half months old, a stray from Bakersfield found on the street, had adorable ears, and a limp.

You hear stories about the amazing bond between humans and dogs. But those were stories, stories of humans and dogs that were removed from me and my life. What I had no idea of on that fateful Friday when I adopted Zoe, was the phenomenally life-changing bond I would share with this 9 pounds of wonder. Even as I type this I feel my eyes well with sheer emotion of pure love and appreciation I have for this animal. For all she teaches me about relationships, for all she teaches me about myself. They say dogs can be the best reflections of ourselves. There is so much I can write about this wonderful being, and I will in time, but for the moment I digress to get back to the point of this post.

When Zoe was a puppy and we started going on adventures I tried to think of ways to let her know I wanted her to stay near me and not wander too far off. I tried a few different things but settled on saying “stay close.” Bit by bit I noticed she understood. At the beginning of any off-leash adventure before unhooking her leash I make eye contact with her and say “stay close.” I continue to reinforce this throughout our adventure and if she get a bit further, I reinforce again and she stays even closer.

Over time “stay close” has become a metaphor for our bond as well. I first noticed her staying closer to me after a year of adopting her. Almost overnight she started walking closer to me and looking back more often. But the main difference I noticed were her ongoing choices to be near me, sitting next to me, napping near me, laying at my feet as seen above, and spending more time closer to me throughout the day when she had many other options. She has also started resting on me like the photo below. Now it’s not just me that wants her to stay close, it’s her that wants me to stay close too.

Zoe 'n Me Stay Close | Jordan benShea

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