we have three dogs, each with his/her own little personality. but pirate is the one who we think may be a little boy in a dog suit. one of his most endearing habits, which we keep trying to break him of (but clearly don’t do a good job at, at all, because we understand why he does it)…is that he loves to stand on his hind legs and hug. to most people this can be very annoying – who wants a dog putting their dirty paws all over your legs? so we try and discourage it, but really we don’t…because we know he’s just spreading the love.
how do i know he’s just trying to hug? because just like humans, dogs learn by example. (we babysat our daughter riki’s new rescue puppy over the weekend, and he learned to lift his leg to pee simply by observing our dogs do it. in fact, even our little girl dog has learned that lifting her leg is really the best way to pee.) every time pirate sees brian and me hug, he gives a little bark. at first i thought it was because he thought we were hurting each other, until the other day i picked him up and realized that he just wanted to join in the love. he put his arms around my neck and gave me the biggest, most joyful hug possible…his arms embracing me to his fullest (sneaking some licks in there too…hehe).
pirate has so much love to give, he just can’t stand that he’s not allowed to hug the way we humans get to hug. so i think what i’m going to do is teach him the word ‘hug’, ask our guests if they mind getting a hug from him, and then go ahead and let him hug away…it’s only natural and it’s unconditional, and who doesn’t like unconditional love?
in a way, the acceptable dog hug begins with the wagging of his tail, just as the beginning of the human hug is the smile on my face. humans get to complete the beginning of the hug, so why can’t dogs? it’s like telling me to smile away, but don’t come over and complete that love with a hug… it’s only fair that everyone gets to share in the love through a hug.
a hug heals, it connects through the heart, and it completes the love that naturally needs to be shared. so just do it…go out there and share it…hug away!…(and pirate you’re included too…:)