I love animals! Anyone who knows me will tell you that. I have 4 dogs that have enriched my life so much that I can’t imagine life without them. I interact with my dogs similar to the way I interacted with my children.
When I gently pet them and whisper softly, their eyes reflect the love I give. We have a deep-rooted connection that I can feel, as I caress their furry, warm bodies. I usually do this at the end of the day, like I did with my kids at bedtime. I loved holding my kids, solid, little bodies of warmth. I would squeeze them and love them up; caressing hair and kissing toes. I don’t kiss my dogs feet but I do like to hold them, run my thumb over the roughness of their paw pads until they twitch and pull away. I’ll run my palms over bellies so soft and warm. If I pull my hand away too soon, a paw reaches out to pull my hand back.
I watch them as they sleep beside me on the couch; paws twitching, snout moving while they unconsciously whine or whimper, chasing phantom prey. Wherever their dreams take them, they are leash-free and running with wild abandon.
Dogs are intuitive, picking up on emotions and body language, they understand my emotions. When I cry they become attentive to the sounds I make. They know somethings going on and I find myself apologizing, telling them everything is okay. This has the added benefit of calming me at the same time. They feed off my excitement and become bothersome when I’m agitated.
My dogs get a little crazy when it’s time for a walk. They bark and jump making it almost impossible to get my coat and boots on. Squirming and shaking makes leashing up a chore but once it’s done, we’re out the door. The first few minutes they walk me, until we all find our stride. I am constantly switching leashes from one hand to the other to keep them from tangling up.
During one walk this winter I dropped one leash and while I tried to pick it up, I tripped over a snow bank dropping the rest of the leashes. I scraped my hand, bruised my knee and as I lay on the road, I watch my dogs take off without a backward glance. If they could talk I’m sure they would yell “freedom!” Three dogs are easy enough to get back but the smallest one likes me to chase her. Trying to outsmart her is difficult.
They all have wonderful, distinct personalities not unlike children, and I love all of them for different reasons. I feed them, walk them, love them and I get back more than I give. They are my companions, my substitute children, my fellow couch potatoes and I am honoured to be their human guide, on this adventure I call life.