Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On dogs and comfort

Last Monday I got some dreadful news.  It wasn't news that was entirely unexpected, but it was news that we were hoping with all our might would not come to fruition.  I received the news while at work and after hearing it, I went back to my desk.

And I stared at the computer screen for a moment.

And I thought "If anyone tries to talk to me, if anyone tries to get something out of me, if anyone is rude or nasty, they are going to get a nasty tongue-lashing."  This sort of attitude is, of course, not really conducive to being in the work place.   While sitting there allowing these thoughts to ruminate, everything sort of blanked out.  I was left with one thought:

Get home to Dahlia.

I left work immediately.  I knew in that moment, when my world had come crashing down around me, that the one creature on this earth that would offer the exact kind of comfort I needed was my dog.

What is it about dogs that make them so comforting in such a horrible moment?

Is it that they offer wordless support?  They cannot ask questions.  They cannot murmur meaningless platitudes.  They cannot try to get your mind off of it.

Is it that they have soft fur and allow you to cuddle with them and cry into that fur without getting annoyed?  They won't tell you to buck up.  They won't look impatient or uncomfortable upon hearing your news.

Is it that taking them out for a walk makes you breathe easier?  Or maybe that it makes you think about other things as you watch your dog walk merrily along, sniffing anything in her path and bounding into the snow with gleeful abandon?

Maybe it's all of those things.  Maybe it's more. Whatever it is that makes dogs so comforting, I'm glad for it.  After taking a long walk in the afternoon snow with Dahlia, I felt much better about everything.  No, the news is still not good.  But I was able to free myself of the burden for a little while and just enjoy watching my dog be a dog.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. Makes me wish they allowed dogs at my office - I know it would make me feel better throughout the day and increase my productivity.

    Hope you get to doing better soon.

  2. I think if more places allowed dogs, people would be much less stressed out! I remember when I first brought Dahlia to work to meet people, a couple people said "Oh wow she could be our mascot and when we're stressed, we just go pet the dog." Sounded like a good idea to me!