Monday, October 13, 2008

He grounds her

Comforting shoulder
London, ON, October 2008
About this photo: Another in this week's Thematic Photographic theme, grounded. Have you submitted yours yet? No? Please consider this link (right here) your personal invitation. It won't hurt a bit. I promise.
I'm surrounded by pet people. These folks - often called dog people, cat people, or whatever-animal-floats-your-boat people - are different. They seem to exhibit a little more kindness, a little more gentleness, and little more empathy. Pet people reach out to beings who can't possibly repay the favor. At least not in the tit-for-tat, payback-focused way that seems to underlie many human-human relationships.

Pet people don't expect anything in return from the animals around them. The payback, such as it is, is simple: a wet nosed kiss when you're feeling alone, a curled-up nuzzle when the world's been just a little rough, a spirited game of catch in the living room when you need a quick happy.

Dahlia needed a little comfort the morning this was taken, and Frasier was there for her. He gives hugs. Cuddly ones. And for a little girl who woke up on the wrong side of the bed, all she needed was a quick moment with her beloved dog to get her smile back. She gets the pet people thing. So, apparently, does our dog.

Which is my long-winded way of saying how happy I am to share a home with a wiggly, 20-ish-pound ball of fur who never ceases to keep us all grounded.

Your turn: Animals don't speak any recognized language. Nor do they earn a paycheck, help with the mortgage or drive the kids to school. So, why do - or would - you have one in your own home?


Arwen said...

When I get home from traveling, my German Shepherd talks to me and my cats won't leave me alone until I pick them up and hug them and when I pack to leave they sit in my bag and get fur all over everything. They do this to the other humans too. They make sure we feel love all the time and there are no politics involved. It's lovely.

lissa said...

Okay, this is one for the tear ducts.

It was 9 years that I'd had to say my goodbyes to Toebi. At age 14, he'd given us his all. But last summer, Theo came into our lives and that 3.5-pound ball of fluff (shih-tzu) changed the whole dynamic of our household.

I saw him and fell in love. Within 1 day, the kids and I had gone back and spent hours with him at Nature Pet Center. Every time I left him, I felt like I was leaving my dog there.

It was Hubby who had the problem. Not being a dog person, marrying someone who is, and fathering 2 kids who take after their mom, he was outnumbered. He said no, no, no, he'd think about it, and finally I told him he wouldn't get struck by that magic lightning bolt called "okay". He'd have to trust that he'd fall in love with the dog.

See, we'd already chosen Theo's name, on morning #2 of knowing him. That's the beginning of the beginning, right? So he was meant to be ours.

He came home on a Friday, the week's anniversary of having met him. He already knew his name, and he took to us like he'd been born to us.

Saturday afternoon, kids at various friends' houses, groceries needed doing. I put Theo in his crate and left him with Perry at home. Called from the store to see what kind of light bulbs we needed and heard the puppy barking. I told Perry I'd be home shortly and would take Theo out.

Came home to a quiet house. Thought Theo might have fallen asleep. But no - there he was, on a makeshift bed in the kitchen, surrounded by his new toys and lying on his new blankey, as his new "dad" read the paper.

Guess who became the biggest mushball of all of us?

Theo (all of 8.5 pounds now, at his full-grown weight) is a charmer. He has an incredible personality (dog-onality?), quiet and calm, but spirited and playful. He is smart, and loving and loveable, and just one look at his face is enough to soften any heart. He's our Teddy Bear, our Muffin-Head, our Pookie, and our Baby-Dog. He is my shadow (maybe because I'm the only female in the house and the only "mom" figure, maybe because I'm home with him more than anyone else) but he distributes his love to everyone in the house.

It's still hard to leave him home but it is worth the kisses and tail-wagging when I return home.

The photo of Dahlia is poignant and speaks volumes. And similar scenes take place here all the time. Theo gets the loving I'm sure Frasier does, and gives it back in droves.

Oh, and we have a cat too, who is also loving (for a cat) and comforting when needed. He spends his nights on Josh's bed (Josh was with me when we adopted him) and Theo floats between my room and Sam's.

The hamsters just stay in their own rooms. I mean, cages.

Thanks for sharing the Moment. Once again, as I've said before (and will again), you inspire me!

Unknown said...

My house would not be the same without my two cats. A year ago I had three of them but lost my baby boy, my one and only black cat (who knew me inside and out) to cancer at 6 1/2 years old.
However, in preparing to lose Tucker, my black cat, I adopted a handsome tuxedo cat, Monroe, who was in need of some major loving and care... $500+ later... he was happy and healthier. Monroe did not replace Tucker but was to be there for Samson, my "chub-a-lub" cat and giver of many many kisses in a sitting. Samson is a very social cat and talks alot and I admit that I talk back to him... wishing I could understand him or that he could understand me!
So, my rambling... sorry... Samson and Monroe make coming home easier every day as I live alone. They are there are the door when I get home, granted they are looking for their food but also want some loving on as well. I do think Monroe and Tucker had a talk before Tucker passed away because Monroe does ALOT of things that Tucker used to do... so the reminder of my first "on my own" cat is always there. My boys are precious and wouldn't trade them for the world... yep, even the hair that goes rolling on the floor like an old western movie... lol... Cat, dog, or otherwise... they are all special and know when we need them.

Anonymous said...

Sweet photo, but to be honest, the first thing I noticed was Dahlia's gorgeous hair!

photowannabe said...

Pets do have a way of grounding us. I never had a dog until I became the Grandmother to my Grandkis puppy. Now she is the "Granddogger" of the family and comes to play at my house quite often. We have a lot of fun and snuggle time together. She's 35 pounds and still thinks she's a lap dog.
Great shot of your daughter and pup.
My Grounded shot is up now.

sealaura said...

Hola! I loved reading this post. I recently lost one of my pets Obi. I wrote about him here:

I very much identified with your words. Through good and bad times, I always am able to rely on my pets, my small little family to push me through.

Nestor Family said...

We have a furr-ball in our home for the very reason I see in your photo... love. Yeah, once in a while I get chomped on by our cat, but he just wants to play. He reminds me that there are others in the house besides just myself.

Sara said...

Because they give love, comfort, joy, a reason to care and someone to care for.

My Killian sleeps with me, talks to me (he is a meower), sits next to me on the recliner and in general is my shadow.

I'd be lost without him.

Sara said...

Hit send to soon...

Your lovely daugher and dog really seem to have a huge bond! That is so neat - great photo of both of them.

MorahMommy said...

I can't imagine life without our garbage-eating, loveable, sweet, cuddly, loud puppy Frasier...he makes our family complete.

I love how he tries to con the second one downstairs in the morning. I love that he "pretends" he hasn't been out for his walk, yet. I love that he needs to be curled up next to us in bed when there is plenty of room without being plastered to our sides. I love his energy and how he has made himself at home in our home and in our hearts.

Anonymous said...

We have multiple animals in our home - dogs for the hubby, cats for me. Course, it never works out that way. They've declared ownership of us each in their own turn.

All our animals were "rescued" from somewhere else. Each one of them shares a bit of themselves with us on a daily basis. I can't imagine a home without them.

Although, it would be nice to be able to have a garbage can inside the house someday...

Carli N. Wendell said...

Actually, I think it's the cat who keeps me in HIS home, if his behavior is any indication.

For me, Wendell was the pet I never had. I grew up desperately wanting a dog, and it never happened. Then I was grown, and it didn't happen. I'd be gone 10 hours a day between work and commuting, and I couldn't afford a walker.

Then 9/11 hit, and I decided I absolutely had to have an animal. So I got a cat. And now I have this little adorable bundle of fur who, at his best, is entertaining, loving, cuddly, and a great buddy to curl up on the couch with and watch football while eating Tostitos. And he needs me, which I suppose I like.

And he has impeccable comic timing.

Anonymous said...

we rescued our dog almost three years ago, we have never made a better decision in our lives. she has brought something to our family, she asks for nothing, needs only food and shelter, yet will run across the house and jump over furniture to greet whoever comes to the door. she makes everyone of us feel like the most important person, it's such a great feeling, how could you not want to love her and why would anyone turn in such an amazing dog. it was a loss they will never understand and a gain we're happy to have found.

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

Coz I have never had one and I think I want to be adopted by a dog desperately :)