The holiday season is all about love: love your family members, love your friends, love the less fortunate, love the entire world. With so much love concentrated on these “big” things, I believe I forgot to love the “little” ones.
Of course, animals aren’t as important as human beings. Well, at least not as important as some human beings. But they are, nevertheless, important.
I love dogs. I always have, though I never really knew just how much, until this summer, when I got one all to myself. He was only two weeks old when he “landed” in my arms, and I took care of him until the summer was over and I had to go back to school.
But this puppy is not the topic of this blog. I have another dog, who has recently turned two, and it is him that I want to talk about today.
I met Tommy when he was about 9 months old. By that time, he had done most of his physical growing, and all that was left was the shaping of his personality. And what a strange, wonderful personality it is. He is proud like no other dog I’ve ever seen. He is smart. Smart enough that he can learn a command after just a few times of me showing it to him. But he is proud enough that he will refuse to carry out that command unless he wants to do it.
He is very different from my other dog. My other dog is full of love, which he will constantly show by throwing himself in my arms, licking my hands, and sitting as close as possible to me at all times. Actually, he often blurs that line by sitting directly on me.
Tommy, on the other hand, is not like that. He will sometimes come to me to pet him, and sometimes he won’t. He doesn’t like to sit really close to me, and in fact, if I happen to sit next to him, he will often get up and walk away.
But not too far away. You see, even though he doesn’t appreciate being too close, he still likes to be within a few meters of me. It took me a long time to notice this, but after a while, I couldn’t ignore the fact that he would always be nearby. If I happened to move, he would magically change his location as well.
Tommy loves too, but in his own way. I’ve seen more proof of it in the past few months than I would be able to ignore. Yet, what strikes me the most is seeing how much Tommy needs to be loved back, despite not showing it all the time.
Being two years old, Tommy doesn’t need as much attention as the other one, who is, after all, still a puppy. I find myself spending more time with the puppy, trying to train him (and failing, more often than not). Tommy just sits in the distance and watches. Sadly, I don’t get to be around him as much as I’d like to, because I always have other things to do, and so I end up petting him hurriedly and then leaving to get on with my day.
Today, however, I couldn’t follow my normal routine, because Tommy asked for my attention in a way he’s never done before.
I went to where he usually sits, to bring him food and water. When he saw me, he started running towards me, giving me just enough time to place the bowls down. I expected he wanted to play, because that’s what he normally does. However, this wasn’t his intention.
When he got close, he jumped on me, with his front paws placed around my waist like a loving embrace. He remained like that, unmoved, looking at me with his beautiful big eyes, as if asking me to return the gesture. So I did. I embraced him back and petted his smooth, black fur for a while.
It may seem like an insignificant moment in the grand scheme of things, but to me, it was magnificent.