This post is about the slow-developing, but now unconditional, love between dog and human. I am fortunate to have so many different animals to whom I have become attached during my life, and think they can teach this fractured (human) world a whole lot about being willing to learn about that which we perceive as different but which might end up changing our lives beyond measure.
I remember our first encounter. On the day my now wife and I made our first real, in-person connection, she brought you over to where I was sitting. You took about 15 seconds to look at me, and decide you did not want a part of that, scampering off to whatever else had been holding your interest.
“It’s ok,” I told myself: “often a new entrant into an already established relationship takes some, shall we say, getting used to.
That initial meeting happened in February of 2015, on Valentine’s, the day of love in fact, and as I came around in March, April, July and August, your curiosity slowly won out and you had to come and see who this person was that always hangs with “mama!” Tentatively at first, then with a building aggression, you pressed up against me, checked out my hands and concluded that you enjoyed them, and, one cold November day, told us both that my presence had been approved by kissing our interlinked hands. I knew in my body that this occurrence was profound, because you, and for that matter most of your kind, have a great ability to pick up on people’s vibes, whether hidden or expressed.
After that great November day, you hardly allow me to sit alone on the couch without “asking for” well “demanding,” physical contact. The longer we have been together, the more you seem to want to be around. You used to at least stay away during times when “mama” and I are chatting or otherwise engaged, but now if you sense that she is on the phone or not talking to me, you’ll make your presence known till I either pet your head from above or, best of all, get onto the floor with you.
I can tell that you enjoy this kind of play, as well as the strange sounds I make, as your entire body expresses the amusement and joy with shaking and pants. As long as the sounds are expected, that is. When we get too silly, you scamper off to your safe place and hunker down until sanity prevails.
Who says that one’s “kids” must be part of the same species. In our opinion, she is our kid because she provides something tangible to love, entertain and, to some extent anyway, protect us. She is a seven-pound Pomeranian we call Boo Boo, and she turns 8 this Halloween. That’s 56 in dog years, so yeah technically older than I am by a few. But as all parents say, “you’re never too old to be my kid”.
So here’s to many more years, we hope, so long as you don’t eat anything strange and enjoy life. And to al others who’s kids have four legs instead of two, I salute you. Woof woof!