While he was certainly happy to see me, Shadow wanted no part of that paper towel (he'd just keep the dirt, thank you) but he did inquire as to whether or not we could skip to the treat portion of the program. No? Fine ~ he walked off pouting a bit but stopped halfway out of his stall and stood there in the doorway (putting me in mind of a little kid pouting, arms folded, adamantly refusing to do something Mama wanted :o)
Now once upon a time I would have gone and gotten his halter, a lead rope, and maybe even someone to help hold him still while I carefully cleaned the area around his eye, but now I wondered. He was aware I had those treats tucked in my pocket, just as I was aware that the thought of not actually getting one was likely killing him. Curious, and willing to experiment a bit, I wandered over to the side of the stall where he was standing and leaned casually against the rails. He flicked an ear slightly, acknowledging my new location. I figured he was probably trying to devise a way to get those treats without facing the dreaded paper towel.
Shaaaaaaaaaadow, I said very softly in a singsong voice. Nothing. Shaaaaaaaaadow, I said again and then just waited because I could almost see those little wheels turning in there. Mind seemingly made up, Shadow walked the rest of the way out of the stall (to be honest I was feeling like a bit of an idiot and thinking, "Well what did you expect him to do dummy?") To my surprise, however, Shadow turned himself around, came back in the stall, heaved a long-suffering sigh and all but head butted me in the stomach presenting his face (and eye) for cleaning. Huh, wild.... Now how cool is that I ask you?