I am in an unspoken competition with my husband for the affection of the dog. I pretend not to notice when the dog follows me upstairs instead of staying in the living room with him. Sometimes, my husband gives the dog treats for no reason, trying to buy his favor. I do not say anything when, regardless, the dog follows me upstairs.
We are constantly watching for approval. A kind of approval to which, if we want, we can ascribe meaning.