Gratitude Dog

The Human Speaks


Huff has had his say and now it is my turn. He has much to be grateful for, as we all do. But I don’t think he realizes how much he has enriched my life.

Laughter and Frustration

He makes me laugh - a lot.  At myself mostly. When I think I have him figured out and he proves me wrong.

He frustrates me when we can’t seem to communicate. I am challenged to think in new ways and try to see the world from his perspective. I hope that this had made me more patient and compassionate.

He has pushed me to be more observant.  He can’t tell me that he is having a bad day and his hips hurt. He can’t tell me when our walk becomes too much and he is tired. I have learned to notice small cues: the tilt of his head, the set of his shoulders.

I have learned to notice when I am being herded toward the door - or away from it. I have come to understand that when he hesitates before getting up and joining me at the door, it means he doesn’t really want to go. So sometimes we don’t go. And when he is ready, he will herd me toward the door.   

He has taught me to slow down. I was willing to slow down for him and go at his pace. That made me reconsider what the big hurry was anyway. Maybe my own pace didn’t actually need to be quite so fast. Maybe I didn’t always need to run from one task to the next to the next.

Maybe it would be okay to slow down and enjoy life’s pleasures as they come. 

Trust

Huff has offered me something truly precious that I never expected. He has been hurt by humans who had once been his most trusted companions. I expected that betrayal would lead to a distrust of all humans. He is cautious so when he offered his trust to me, I was honored.

He has never complained about things he doesn’t like such as baths and nail trimming or brushing. Recently I noticed the lump on his foot growing larger and I wanted to take closer look at it. I was gentle (I thought) but as I  moved the nearby hair away from it, he spoke.

Not a growl of warning.

Not a yelp of pain.

Sort of a talking bark, not loud or threatening.

Moreover, he didn’t pull his foot away. He was going to let me check it if I insisted, but he was letting me know it hurt.

I stopped. 

Several days later, he extended his trust even further.

Huff was napping in the bedroom while I worked on the computer and discovered the internet was down. The brand new spiffy internet service I had just signed up for. I might have been a little frustrated.

I might have cast aspersions on the parentage of the new modem. Maybe.

I might have done it loud enough that the sound carried into the bedroom.

When Huff first moved in with me, he would have cringed at my raised voice. He would have frozen in place and hoped not to be noticed. 

Now, he got up and came to check on me. Concerned for my welfare, I am sure.

Or maybe reminding me that one of us was trying to sleep. But it felt like trust to me.

Life with Huff has not always been easy for either of us. But wouldn't change it. I only wish we had met sooner.

I am grateful for his trust in me and his willingness to take a chance on an senior rescue human.