Saturday, November 15, 2014

The unconscious wag

I recently went through a stressful time involving hospitals and other cheerful places. In my ever-earnest attempt to understand people through animals, I noticed that there are simply some people who, no matter the situation, react pleasantly. It's in the unguarded, startled moments where you learn this. (No surprise to me, though no less disappointing: my own reactions to being startled are not good, I won't even bother to insert a porcupine picture here.)  

The other day pup Bodie was in a new situation and couldn't have been more guarded. His ears flattened and he began licking his lips, eyes darting. Then I said his name and his ears went up and back down immediately, his tail wagging, though uncertainly. He couldn't help it. He saw me, he wagged. Hearing this, my friend Lia knew exactly what I meant. She remembered a time her dog Ruby lay exhausted from a long hike, splayed on the floor. No movement. People came and went but she didn't raise her head, continuing to sleep in her deeply committed dogly way. But during one pass Lia called out her name and wham, tail began wagging. Just the tail. No other movement.

There's nothing like coming into a hospital room to see many people you've never met before attending to your loved one. When one of them wags their tail it can mean everything.

These two are simply Grace. 


Dana Sullivan said...

Wag, wag, wag!

Diane said...

Love these stories and videos! You hit all my favorites, Caitlin! Family 'packs,' joyous pups, elephants, and horses. Made me laugh and made me cry. Bliss....