But what happens if the fulfillment of that canine need is met with runny nose, itchy eyes, inflamed lungs, and red, cracked hands? Life gets a bit more complicated. You become attached to your medications, look for furniture with wipeable surfaces, rip out carpet and put in hardwood that is paw scarred within the first two weeks, carry hand wipes to clean up the freshly kissed cheek, have Reacton in every drawer in the house and car and tell your friends to get used to you sneezing, scratching your hands and running out of Kleenex.
I’ve often questioned the thinking, that on one hand blessed me with a love and appreciation for dogs, and on the other prevents me from spending more time touching them.
It’s made training different. Instead of praising with a pat and/or play wrestle, my dogs learned to appreciate the “good lad” or “well done” that followed “yes”.
Instead of cuddling with me on the couch, they lay in wait at my feet. Riding in the car is heaven with the window wide open, and for most of the day they get to romp outside. Plus, I know Willie appreciates having a chair of his own in my office and Nike feels important sleeping outside my bedroom door at night keeping watch.
We’ve adapted. I’ve become accustomed to the reactions. The dogs have learned to snuggle with my son and lay beside John on the couch while we watch TV.
But I have to admit, sometimes, when they look at me with, you know, that look, I just have to put my head to theirs, feel the smooth fur brush my forehead, the tongue scrape across my cheek, and hold a gentle paw in my hand.
Now where’s the allergy pills?