The dogs know that one of them must take me for a walk before they eat. It doesn't matter which dog takes me, and it isn't a long walk--just a short one within the house. We're all standing in the kitchen. It's time to eat, and the last thing they want is a delay, especially a pointless one. Normally they'd love to walk anywhere and for any reason, but it's meal time, and they really, really don't want to walk away from the kitchen.
"Who's gonna take me?" is what I ask to no one in particular. Not "heel" because it isn't a command--I just want one of them to take some initiative. When Coach was here, he always immediately volunteered to walk me--Coach loved being in charge and he loved having a job. Willow always sits in the same place and smiles--she's not playing the game at all.
Jam knows the drill because I've done it since he was a small puppy. Jam seems to enjoy the whole thing but he always sticks his head between my legs and makes this odd little noise and wags his tail. But he just can't see the wisdom of walking away from breakfast. So we wait sometimes.
When he was smaller, Dewey watched all of this passively. He watched Jam playing hard to get. Then several weeks ago Dewey volunteered to take me. And most mornings now he's the one takes the initiative, and he seems very proud and happy about doing it.
Compared with most dogs, Dewey doesn't make much of a display of his emotions. He's been shy and laid back since he was small. He has a tiny smile, and just a slight tail wag from Dewey is a sign of real joy. I guess I can relate to him pretty well.
He is certainly less charismatic than Jam, but he's a wonderful dog. We hope that when he goes IFT he won't get lost in the crowd, not like some shy young kid from a small town.