The Power of Touch
We had been thinking about adopting another dog to keep our hound dog company. We made an appointment to have our boy meet a dachshund we saw advertised by a rescue group in our community. We had not really planned on making any final decisions yet, that is until the little hound began taking flying leaps into our laps and giving everyone kisses. What a charmer. But as we chatted with the dog rescue angel that had been coordinating this little guy’s care we learned that his story is not all sunshine. He lived in a home for three years where he was neglected. During his first trip to the vet in those three years, it was discovered that he had heartworms. His owners were not really prepared to continue caring for him at this point, so he was put in the care of Paws and Adopt rescue agency. The rescue group arranged for a local vet to board the sick little guy for the duration of his treatments. As loving and charming as he was to us and the vet staff, it must have been pretty confusing and scary for the pup to go through so much change (not to mention the needles!). So it is not really surprising to me that in the midst of these first few days of love and cuddles, there is mixed in a bit of fear. Mostly when he is separated from us. The minute I walk in the door from an outing, I hear him start to whine and cry in his crate. He shivers and shakes until the door is opened and he can hurtle himself into my lap, melting into a whimpering puddle. It usually takes me several minutes to calm the little guy down. I hold him, stroke him, rub his tubby belly. Of course I’m talking to him the whole time telling him its going to be okay, but he seems pretty short on English comprehension. What he does understand however is touch. Each stroke, each rub visibly soothes him. Something about the pressure of my hand and cradle of my lap make the bad feelings go away.
I know how he feels sometimes.