With a wide array of housemates, significant others, and random strangers cycling in and out of my house like perverts through a brothel, my dog is rarely alone these days.
Bindi sees this as the biggest plus of our current living arrangement.
Each household member plays an important role in Bindi's life. I'm the steadfast provider of dog kibble, regular walks, and trips to the vet. One housemate is her supplier for table scraps and lazy afternoons on the sofa watching ninja movies. My gentleman friend can be counted on to throw her ball until one of them collapses from exhaustion.
Then there's the housemate who isn't much of a dog person. He doesn't dislike dogs, and will even drag her out for the occasional run or hike. But their bonding has been a little more tepid.
Or so I thought.
Several weeks ago, he sent me a text message:
Bindi & I had a howlin' contest this morning.
Intrigued, I clicked the attached 24-second video. (Warning: there's a curse-word in this video. If you're offended by curse-words, I suggest you not click. I also suggest you not read this blog or my books. Why the hell are you here, anyway?)
Now here's the funny thing – I've owned Bindi for more than two years. We've gone for countless hikes, endured lengthy road trips, and snuggled for endless hours. Never once have I heard my dog howl. I didn't even know she could howl.
I asked my housemate about it later when all the other household occupants were present. No one else had heard Bindi howl, either, but the howl-inducing housemate just shrugged it off.
"It's sort of our thing," he said. "She only does it when no one else is home."
I'm fascinated by this. Not only by my dog's behavior, but by the notion of one creature triggering another to do something he or she doesn't do for anyone else.
For once, I'm not being filthy.
I was thinking about this in the context of the rewrite I just submitted for my third contracted romantic comedy. One element of my marching orders from the editor involved tightening the bond between my hero and heroine. What is it that makes their relationship unique? What are the little inside jokes only the two of them share? What separates her from every girl he's ever dated or him from her ex-husband?
I can't tell you the answers to those questions without giving away some plot twists, but rest assured, I figured it out.
Are there things you share only with one special friend or significant other? I'm not talking about playing Spear the Donut. I'm thinking more along the lines of little things you catch yourself doing around a certain person who's the only person in the world to see you behaving that way. Please share!
And please take a moment to enjoy this second video my housemate shot just to prove the first one wasn't a fluke. Aroooooooooooooo!