Tag Archives: unconditional love

All our dogs are now comfort dogs

We really thought, back in 2001, that we’d lived through the worst tragedy that could befall a nation. But this is 2020 and it seems determined to out-do the extremes of every past year. All of our dogs have become “comfort dogs.”

Dogs are filling more roles for people now than ever before. Whether times have just become that much more stressful, or we’ve recognized how intelligent and empathetic dogs are. Dogs are the only animals that humans have partnered with, in so very many ways.

Truly our best friends

We admit that the last few months would have been practically impossible if we didn’t have our dogs. When feeling despondent, they’re always there to cuddle and hug. 

On the days that worry is overwhelming, we grab some treats and ask the dogs to come play training games with us. It doesn’t change the situation, but it distracts us. And playing with our dogs, even for just a few minutes, always lightens our mood.

Hope and her comfort dog Teddy

And during the days when we felt trapped and restless, but had nowhere to go and nothing to do, we could grab a leash, a dog, and head out the door. When you have a dog, you can just walk. No errand to complete, no particular destination. 

Or if we get a notion to be ambitious, the dogs are always there to supervise any improvement project. And share our frustration when things go wrong, or joy when they go right. 

Comfort dogs

We know quite a few people who partner with their dogs for animal therapy programs, visiting nursing homes, hospitals, even universities during finals weeks. All of these programs have been on hold for months – no visitors allowed. We feel sorry for those who haven’t gotten their dog “fixes.” And for the dogs and their people on hiatus. All parties benefited from those visits. We know how much they’re all missing them.

We remember, this week especially, all the roles dogs play during tragedies. The search and rescue dogs. The comfort dogs. And especially the family companions who, like ours, all received extra hugs.

Much more than “pets”

Most of all, we feel sorry for everyone who doesn’t “get” what we’re talking about. For those who don’t know how dogs enrich our lives, expand our understanding, and demonstrate, every day, the meaning of uncondiional love. 

Roger Caras said it best: “Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”

Celebrate National Dog Day

TeddyToday is National Dog Day!

If you’re like us, you probably don’t see much of a need for this holiday – every day is “dog day” around our house. Dog people celebrate their dogs every day. We know how lucky we are to possess the unconditional love of our amazing companions.

But maybe, like Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day, it’s just a good opportunity to let the ones we love know it and do something a little more special than every other day. Even if it’s just an extra play session, or a special treat, or an extra-long walk around the neighborhood.

At our house – maybe will let “chaos and mayhem” time last a little longer than usual. When we get home from work our “little lunatics” run around, wrestle, play bitey-face, bark their fool heads off at each other, and generally let off some steam before we go on and do other stuff, whether it’s training, playing fetch, cuddling, or just relaxing. It gets loud, but we’ve learned not to fight it. We actually yell, too, and become part of the crazy. It’s more fun for everyone that way.

The biggest issue, aside from the dogs using us as trampolines (oooof!), is teaching the dogs bite inhibition. Even during “chaos and mayhem,” they have to stay in control of themselves and not bite – either us or their “siblings.” The older guys are fine – but Torque is still learning and sometimes gets a little too enthusiastic. We find a good squeal makes him back off. He’s getting better all the time – a reminder of “Gentle!” is usually enough to rattle his brain back into its socket.