Initially, this post was supposed to be about a holiday party Claire and I attended last weekend. I’ll probably still get around to that eventually, but as I sit in bed typing, Claire is carrying on a non-stop conversation about Cooper coming up the stairs and into her room and potentially getting into bed with her. She is procrastinating about brushing her teeth by explaining how cute he is, and how he’s already asleep, and how it’s perfectly okay if he decides to stay in her bed all night.
Earlier, he was sprawled on the rug next to her bed, and for the first time ever she let him lick her hand on purpose. This is a big deal, because Claire does not like to have dirty hands, or wet hands for that matter. She would take her hand away, pat him on the head, and then say, “okay, just one more lick,” while he stole six more. She even leaned closer and held her head in such a way as to make it clear that her cheek was also available for licking, but Cooper didn’t take the bait.
I’ll admit, I got a little teary. Twice.
Both this kid and this dog have been through so much in the last five weeks, and it was my one true wish that they become the best of friends. I honestly never expected Claire and Huck to form a deep bond – Huck’s not really so much about people as he’s about me – but I knew that Cooper was a likely candidate for “a girl and her dog” shenanigans. That they got off to a bad start was heartbreaking, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned here, but also because I just knew they were supposed to be pals.
Joel and Claire and Cooper are now in bed reading Ramona the Pest. Sadly, we will likely have to fetch Cooper before he makes it through the night, because he will inevitably bark at something, and Claire hates it when he “ruffs.” He’ll come into our room and settle into the giant dog bed at the foot of ours. He’ll sigh and grunt and rustle around to get comfortable.
In the morning, Claire will come to visit him and gently stroke him between the ears and tell him what a good boy he is. Cooper will stay very still and watch her with his big sleepy eyes. We’ve cautioned her to go easy and be gentle, and not try to give him hugs or kisses, but I think it’s probably okay now. It’s probably time.