Let it not be said that Gatsby lacks in the area of protective instinct.
One of the (many) nicknames I have for him is Michael Oher. In the movie The Blind Side, Michael Oher is given some tests for career aptitude, and he generally scores pretty low across the board, except in the area of protective instinct. In that category, he scores in the 98th percentile. Sandra Bullock’s character, Leigh Anne Tuohy, uses this to later explain his football position (left tackle) using members of the Tuohy family to him, helping him get started in his football career.
If Gatsby were to take a series of tests, unless there were copious amounts of peanut butter treats involved, he’d probably score pretty low as well. But Mother of Dragons, he’d be off the charts on that protective bit. I largely think this is why he’s so shitty with other dogs. Not because he doesn’t like them (he does, in fact have a best friend named Captain Ruggles), but because I’m around. He actually went to day care for quite some time and LOVED it, until multiple bouts of kennel cough
--> pneumonia stymied that experience. He was fine at day care. But he could just relax and play there; he didn’t have to protect mom. It’s cute, albeit obnoxious, overbearing, and presumptuous to think that I need protecting.
At any rate, there we were this morning enjoying morning beverages in the crisp morning air (I think it was at 44* this morning, and we were woefully unprepared for that. Among other things.), and all of a sudden, that dog was in between me and the water, leaning in a way that I knew he meant business.
There are a variety of leans.
There’s the traditional head hug, which is the most prevalent, and usually occurs in the mornings after his breakfast. This one is best given when the human is sitting level with G, so that he may intensely burrow his smart knot (what a forking oxymoron) into the clavicle. From there, it’s like a snow plow, just barreling into you. It’s sweet that he likes to help you work out your core so early in the day, lest you topple over.
There’s the simple, “I’m here, mumsy,” lean, which is generally while I am standing, and he just wants to reassure me (or maybe I’m reassuring him) that we’re still present in each other’s company. Physical touch is my primary love language (along with QT, just in case you’re wondering), and we’re a very tactile lot, so I appreciate this sentiment, regardless of who is comforting whom.
There's the "you are my peasant and now my pillow," lean, usually occurring in a horizontal position when I'm in a space he'd like to be occupying.
This morning’s lean was the rarer, and more substantial, “something’s amiss, m’lady, but fear not, I play the roles of not only your semi-obedient servant and your noble steed, but also your valiant knight in shining armor (please disregard that I’m quaking in my boots),” lean. This is not a side lean. This is the one where he is right in front of me, standing on my feet. Up I looked, and lo and behold, coming right at us was a big fat beaver.
Now the beaver wasn’t doing a damn thing except enjoying a nosh of lily pads and whatnot, and the boy did keep his cool and didn’t bark his fool head off, which I’m sure the rest of the camp appreciated, since it was sometime in the 6 o’clock hour. But man, did Gatsby let me know that he had my back. He probably saw the size of those forking beaver teeth and think he better protect mumsy from those things (have you ever seen a beaver’s teeth? They’re significant).
He did quasi-gracefully (and by that, I mean he escorted me very closely/bumping into me/maintaining contact at all times, with his eyes always on the target) allow me to retreat to Hecate for a moment to grab the binoculars (glad I stashed those in one of those easily-accessible uppers). We spent the next half hour or so just watching Mr. Beaver enjoy his breakfast. There was no way he was going to let that giant water rodent get me. On a side note, I had no idea the sound that a beaver tail makes! He eventually swam off, and about 20 yards down the pond when he went under, had I not been watching the tail slap, I would have thought someone shot a .38.
At the end of the day, I can rest easily, with Gastby as my offensive tackle.
Apparently, he needed a rest after all that defense. A noble beast, indeed.