A protector, a comforter

9 Jan

When the time comes for a dog to be there for us, you can guarantee that they will be.

One of my favorite moments in the book “Marley and Me” is when John Grogan describes how Marley comforted his wife after her miscarriage.

“Our rambunctious, wired dog stood with his shoulders between Jenny’s knees, his big, blocky head resting quietly in her lap. His tail hung flat between his legs, the first time i could remember it not wagging whenever he was touched by one of us. His eyes were turned up at her, and he whimpered softly….

They stayed like that for a long time, Marley statue-still, Jenny clutching him to her like an oversized doll”

Both times i read this book, this passage and the image of Marley comforting Jenny bought tears to my eyes. During the movie i cried like a baby. We also have our own stories of dogs being the hero.

Story One:

“So, I was asked by my sister to write a memory about one of our dogs, so I decided that I would write about Toby. Even though I can’t remember much as I was only around 3 years old when it happened, I think what I am about to tell you is a good story. Like most little girls, I loved to play dress up and I had a lot princess heels which I always enjoyed walking around in. Everyone was downstairs and I wanted to be with them, so I thought I would be able to walk down the stairs wearing these shoes which were too big for me. As I walked down the steps I missed my footing, and ended up falling down the stairs backwards, hitting my head on the cabinet at the bottom. My sister found me crying, and when she left to get mum, Toby stayed seated next to me, he was basically giving me a hug. From what I can remember his presence really calmed me down” – My little Sister, Vicky

Story two:

When i was younger, i fell down the stairs and really hurt myself (turned out i had badly broken some of my toes). I was home alone, sitting at the bottom of the stairs, unable to stand up and panicking. In the living room, Clay must have sensed that something was wrong, and plopped himself down next to me, his head in my lap. I was crying, but him being there settled me down and i was eventually able to pull myself up, hobble over to the sofa and wait until someone got home and could take me to hospital. Clay didn’t leave my side once.

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Our words don’t mean anything to dogs, it is all about our energy and how we are feeling. We might be able to fool our friends and family into thinking that we are OK with a simple “i’m fine” but we could never fool our dogs. Even Maya, a puppy, seems to know when i am feeling down. There have been times when i have been turned down for a job that i really wanted, or when i didn’t get back into university to do my teaching, and she seemed to know that i was upset. She lifts herself up from wherever she is sitting, usually the sofa, trots over to me and either sits on my lap or by my side and gently licks or sometimes nibbles me as though she is cleaning me. I think its her way of comforting me. Soon enough i am able to pull myself together and get back to business, playing with my little pup!

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