Then I began playing with the cube, by crawling back and forth after it and hitting it around. As the tempo increased, so did Brut's excitement. His eyes, widened, his heart was pacing and all his fur began stand. There was no doubt his adrenaline was rising. As we took turns with the food toy, I was conscious of his body language, he was excited, but he also had a look that said, he didn't know what to think. This was fun, but these were his treats and he didn't know what to make of me messing with them. He was caught between wanting to play and wanting to guard. I began to slow my actions, while I wasn't scared, in his semi-heightened state any quick movements would be interrupted as hostile. My goal was not to aggravate him, but to keep this level of play safe for both of us. I let him guide me.
When the cube rolled just out of easy reach, he came up to me and nibbled on one side of my lips, licked my face like crazy and then repeated this several times. I couldn't have been more thrilled!! I have seen Fiona do this very same action with Silver, a boundary line that says, "Stop. I don't want to hurt you. Please don't go any further." I stayed in this same position, I didn't move forward or backwards and I didn't freeze. He continued to circle and walk back and forth in front me, every so often licking my face, while I sat in place. Eventually he laid down next to me, I touched his paw with my finger, and he gave me the signal again, only this time the nibble on the lips was even lighter than the first time. I continued to let him calm, until he was certain that I wasn't making a move after the cube and continued to acknowledge his boundary line. After a few minutes I got up and he got up with me. I thanked him profusely, while having him sit and gave him a treat. The game was over, I picked up the cube to put in it's safe place and then he went outside because that was his safe place.
As I sat down to absorb what had just happened, I was overwhelmed by what Brut had shown me: Himself. Not just "dog behaviors," but his actual true being. There is no way to explain the amount of trust he had given me and I was humbled beyond words. The mysteries of this dog went far beyond labels or insights into them. It was Brut sharing with me how and why he is Brut. There are no words that will ever justify the moments of being that passed between us, only to know they are forever imprinted on my heart. A being who took a chance to open to me. Our communication was beautiful. It was like walking through Brut's world and experiencing it first hand.