Dog Therapy

I’m thinking about brown dogs, three special brown dogs, one the color of lightly toasted bread, one the color of chocolate dipped in copper and the third colored like milk stirred with Hershey’s syrup.

Mugsy the Pug, Maggie, the Lab/Corgi mix and Snickers, the Schnauzer.  If it’s true that the eyes are the window to the soul, these three, the latter two still living, must be centuries-old souls.

I am an overall dog lover–Fancie, a vivacious and spirited Pug puppy bounced into my life as my first dog shortly after I got sober.  Mugsy arrived shortly after and it was his pleading eyes imploring me to rescue him that sealed our bond forever.

He’d been emotionally and physically scarred by a previous owner and saw me as a savior of sorts, I believe.  His past hurts really affected his ability to trust and caused him to be a bit timid.  He had a big bark when he was uncertain about something or didn’t understand a situation and was most comfortable in familiar, quiet surroundings.

As a person trying to find my way in new sobriety, I could relate.

Most days, we’d spend a bit of time nose-to-nose, me lightly caressing the top of his head as he gave me those oh-so-special wet Pug kisses.  The eye contact though, endeared him to me.  We had a connection that required no words, no verbal communication.

Maggie was about a year and a half when she found me online.  She is a beautiful girl with the best combination of both her breeds.  Her Humane Society photo emphasized her eyes–big and brown and soulful.

Like Mugsy, Maggie is sensitive and appears to sometimes be deep in thought about a philosophical canine conundrum. 

My human sensitivity empathizes.

She and I also spent a lot of time eye gazing, again, with no words; we were simply being with each other.

If I am fortunate, perhaps I’ll get to see her and her brother, Porter, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix, from time to time as a part of visitation rights.

Finally, there is Snickers, one of three pups I occasionally get to dog-sit for a few weeks at a time while their parents travel.  Snicks’ sisters, Dora and Whistles, are terrific dogs, but it is the quieter, wiser, more humble Snickers who grabs at my heart.

She comes at me through those doe eyes and grants me adoration and plenty of unconditional love.

For me, animals, and these three dogs in particular, offer a haven against the complications of being human and in recovery.  They live simply and serenely and for the most part, get their needs met on an as-needed basis.  They show me what it’s like to languish and live and love in spite of what may be happening around them. 

How has an animal affected your life?

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1 Comment

  1. Hannah says:

    That's very touchy article of yours. Here, dad and our dog is another good story. Dad never liked pets, not until he has to sit and care over our dachshund George for a week as we go to other state for my brother's concern. Even George is so naughty and playful (which dad usually dislikes about pets) they instantly become buddies and inseparable. We never seen dad been so happy and cheerful like that before, until there's George!

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