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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bone-Love: A Dog's Right


There’s something about watching a dog gnaw on a bone that reminds me of love. Maybe it’s the way she holds the bone between her paws, caressing it and getting a firmer grip on it at the same time. Maybe it’s the way she closes her eyes and cocks her head so that more of the bone can be wedged in her mouth. Or the way she works on it like a sculptor immersed in the art of creating. Or the way she smacks her jaws loudly with satisfaction as she chews bits of rawhide, softening it until she can swallow it where it becomes a part of her. I wonder what she thinks as she stops to chew the bits. Is she thinking how much she is enjoying her bone? Her eyes are unfocused and she appears to be in a bone-trance: nothing else exists for her but her bone between her paws and that intense flavor that is so obviously pleasurable. It’s quite a sight. The only thing, besides her walks when she catches sight of a bunny or squirrel, that seems to captivate her entire being.

The other image of note lately is Singer’s head resting lightly on the table, watching us eat. She’s been quite the challenging counter cruiser lately, never resting from her food scrap vigilance, hoping to snatch any morsel of falling food or crumb. But sometimes, I just like to watch her as she rests her head quietly watching Jeff eat. She focuses on him because she knows that I’m the kitchen witch who’s more likely to yell at her for trying to counter cruise. The kitchen is my domain, and she knows it. Jeff is there, like her, for the food. Afterwards, he does the dishes, and that’s when he might sweep a morsel or crumb her way when I’m not looking.

We’ve been focusing on Dakota lately. He had a sneezing type cold earlier this month, then a bad reaction to a vaccine. He just had a dental, too, and I worried a lot about it beforehand. True to Singer’s nature, she observed the extra attention we were giving to Dakota, and tried her best to offer her own form of healing:  licking. Whenever he strode by her, she would bend over and lovingly lick his head and ears. I don’t think it was perceived that way by him, but it sure was cute. She knew we were worried about him for some reason, and she tried to show her concern as well. Now his teeth are all clean and I’ve vowed to try to keep them that way. Tonight it’s pet teeth brushing night. Jeff gets to hold them, I will brush their teeth. Singer resisted the first time I tried, although she likes the flavored tooth paste for dogs. Dakota has always resisted, his head snaps back in total revulsion whenever I try to open his mouth. He is totally appalled whenever I try to brush his teeth. Typical cat.

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