Most of you have read a bit on this blog, or on my Facebook page, about my rescue Sheltie, Stormy. She’s been with us almost four years now, and is doing pretty well. Grey on the chin from age, still pretty spry, and finally accepting us (the humans in the house) as friends, not as potential poisoners posing as kind people.
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Recently I was sitting on the couch watching some serious documentary action scroll by on Netflix. Stormy came over, plopped down on the floor like the Sphinx, and stared at me. I gently tapped the top of her foot with my toes. Instant movement to get out of reach. I kept following her toes with mine until she tired of the game. Gently, with the kind of caress that only lovers and parents share, I brought my foot up against the pads on the bottom of her paw and left just the slightest pressure before setting my foot down. She dozed off in a minute or two, and that very warm set of toes rested there for quite a while.
My wife got up and walked across the room, and naturally the dog rolled upright and watched her as she went. What happened next was one of the nicest things to happen to me this year. Instead of following my wife upstairs, which Stormy is in the habit of doing, she rolled back on her side. A moment later, she brought her paw over my foot, and very slowly put it right back where it had been a moment before – resting on my toes.
The warmth of that embrace was what you feel when you hold the hand of someone you love. It was, in fact, the exact same thing but across species lines. A remarkable bit of progress for a dog that wouldn’t even stay on the same floor of the house with me for the first month of her residence here.
She still has issues with noises, thunderstorms, sudden movement, and there hasn’t been a face-licking yet. But she just held my hand with her heart.
I’m good with that. Thank you, God, for healing her heart so much. Mine too.
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