Think good thoughts and Ranger’s Rants

Hello Everybuddy! Well, my Brudder Ranger is gonna be tellin’ you some of the thinks he thinks here in a second. But I wanted to ask you for some furry good wishes for my Most Wonderful furend, Lola.

Her dear daddy has been pretty sick and he’s in the hospital so that he can have some tests run. If you gets a chance, would you pretty please run by Lola’s bloggie and paw some happy thoughts? I know it would mean the whole wide world to her. Thank you, thank you!

And now, here’s Brudder Ranger…

Thank you, Mayzie. And I would just like to extend my sincere wishes to Lola’s dad for a speedy recovery.

Today I would like to talk to you about a rather, ahem, sensitive subject. This is the subject of “hugs.”

Now, why would this be sensitive, you may wonder? Especially if you are a two-legger reading this.

Because, dear friends, there are certain of us who are carrying a dark secret. One that we don’t openly share with the rest of the world.

We don’t like hugs.

There, I’ve said it. And I already feel a bit better.

Living in a primarily human world certainly has its perks. Walks, car rides, indoor living, the occasional steak dinner.

However – to me, at least – one of the least desirable drawbacks is that of hugs. I find them…uncomfortable, somewhat awkward, and frankly a little rude. This is not to say I do not enjoy physical affection. No, far from it. Truly, nothing compares to a luxurious neck massage or abdomen rubdown.

Politely hinting to my father that an abdomen rubdown would be appreciated.

But when it comes to hugging, I just don’t understand the attraction.

For years, I thought I was alone. All around me there were dogs who seemed to enjoy this most human of traits. When my sister came to live with us, one day I asked her as nonchalantly as I could, how she felt about hugs. I am not exaggerating when I say her entire face lit up and she answered me by exclaiming, “Hugs? Oh, I just luvs ’em! I thinks they’re the Most Wonderfulest Things in the Whole Wide World!” (And yes, in case you were wondering, she really does talk in capital letters.)

Sadly, it could not be more true. Each morning, she approaches my mother for what she calls “luvs time.” The ritual consists of my mother sitting on the floor and Mayzie leaning into her so that my mother can – shudder – hug her. The look on both their faces is one of pure bliss.

Well, not long ago, I happened upon a book my mother had been reading. It’s called “The Other End of the Leash” by a brilliant woman named Patricia McConnell.

In this book, she discusses many things related to the human-dog relationship. Including hugs! You see, dogs and humans simply speak different languages. Dogs speak dog and humans speak monkey ape primate. To humans, putting their arms around us is very natural and loving. However, to us dogs – another dog that lays its paw across our back or stands over us is being rude. Of course, humans don’t mean to be rude and that’s why most of us have learned to tolerate or, like Mayzie, even enjoy hugs. But I simply cannot tell you how relieved I was to learn that I am not the only dog who is uncomfortable about this unique symbol of human affection.

So my question to you, dear readers, is this: Do you (or your pet, if you are a human) enjoy hugs, or simply tolerate them? I would also be quite interested in learning how the cats in our group view this particular behavior.

Thank you, as always, for allowing me this opportunity to express my viewpoints. It is truly appreciated.

This is Ranger, wishing you a good day and good biscuits.


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24 responses to “Think good thoughts and Ranger’s Rants

  1. Mango

    We have read that lady’s books too. I like hugs from momma and master because it affirms that they are in charge, but I hate it if other humans try to hug me! My Grandpa always wants to pat the top of my head which I don’t like either. How rude of him. One time momma made grandpa stand at the bottom of the stairs while she stood up a few steps. Then she made her arm swoop down and bopped him on the head and said, “do you like that?” I am not sure he got it, though. Sigh.


  2. Brudder Ranger…Teka Toy here.

    Maybe Hugs are OK with girl dogs, but now with boy dogs?

    I lurvSSSS hugs. Muzzer hugs, Dad Hugs, Sissie hugs. I have learned to hug back! I puts my front paws around the hooman neck. They likes that.

    Gussie however! OHHHH NOOOOO…

    Sometimes he will let muzzer give him soft hugs when he is kissin her face, but that is IT! Nobody else better not try it. Not even me!

    Anyway…that is what it is like in our house.

    Teka Toy

  3. Frankie Furter

    I am with Mayzie on this one. I will take any form of touching that my mom (or dad) are willing to give me. From strangers… It is OK as long as I am on my walking string. So I guess I am a bit like Mango in that respect.

  4. Hi Mayzie….we will visit Lola to extend good wishes and prayers.

    Ranger…I can 100% identify with you on the hugs!!! (Madi here). I personally think they show lack of respect for my personal space….I do not like to sit in laps, I will sit beside you but if you touch me I might move!!
    Mom is quite distressed by this because my brudder Milky-Way was the ultimate hugger and lap cat. I keep telling her MOM I AM NOT MILKY-WAY!!
    (I like Mayzie have to talk in caps to get my point across). So any way Ranger I understand. You are lucky that Mayzie came to live with you she can have all the hugs mom has to give. Any pictures you see of me being held were taken in 1 second flat.
    Madi the unhuggable Cat!!!

  5. tank

    Count me as a no-hugger. Dogs are NOT furkids no matter how much people want to think of them that way.

  6. Hahaha…we are a bunch of huggers! We love to be hugged. That is, when we want to. If not, we will just “bounce” away.

  7. As long as the hugs don’t last TOO long, I’m okay but I do LOVES a great tummy rub!

    Paws khrossed fur Lola’s daddy!


  8. First I’d like to thank you and Mayzie for your well wishes. It does mean the world to me and both Moms appreciate it quite a lot, too. They say that dog and the humans that they own are the best people ever.

    On the subject of hugs – well it’s complicated. I don’t mind a gentle hug. I know that probably means it’s a good time for nose and chin licks which I love to give. I am not in general a snuggly dog, though. I am an extremely affectionate dog and I love to give affection and receive it. Humans are not very good at licking so I’ve learned that, to them, a kiss on my prodigious muzzle means the same thing and I respond accordingly, even though we dogs do not pucker ourselves. As I said, I don’t mind a hug when we’re sitting together as equals, on the back steps or the couch. I have integrated into my communication system what the hugs from my humans mean, but ideally that hug will lead to some really good chest scratching or belly rubbing which are my first preferences.

    Also, while I enjoy visiting my humans in bed, helping them get up and even dozing in her bed for a while while Alpha Mom goes to sleep, I prefer to spend the night in my own bed. I don’t know if this answers the question exactly, but I do think it helps to illustrate how we are all individuals, canines and humans alike.

    The cats in our house are equally different from each other. The friendliest one we ever had really didn’t even like to be touched much. A little pet on the head and that was it for him, but he hung out with Daddy all the time. They were like best friends until Stevie had to go to the rainbow bridge. The others are also different, but they are lapsitters as long as it’s on their terms. Hugs, not so much.

    wags, Lola

  9. In our house, Halle the standard poodle will tolerate them. She will turn her head away if you get in her face and she also is not a kissy wissy dog.

    Toby is the ultimate in-your-face- kiss, hug, body barnacle. Ginger is very cat like but loves affection and Jeter is a sweet little cuddle bug.

  10. Hi Ranger,

    Ooh, now this really got our humans thinking! They realise that we’re rather the same as Mango – we love hugs from our own humans but anyone else can initially back off! In fact, FH has been known to – ahem – ocassionally nod off on the sofa on weekends and when she does this JD wriggles himself under her arm, thus actively placing himself inside a hug! JD will accept hugs from people once he knows them but Max won’t. So, all in all, we suppose we’re more pro-hug than anti-hug! We think it’s because we’re a tactile pair anyway – we often fall asleep on top of each other! Mind you, having said that, we still expect strangers to politely remember our personal space – well, anything else is rude!

    Schnauzer snuggles – JD and Max.

  11. I am absoluting recycling that “abdomen rubdown” phrase! I love it!

    Now on the subject of embraces, I actually rather enjoy them. As long as I don’t feel restrained on cornered, I think they’re a good thing, but we’re always free to leave them if our humans do hug us. I also like the hugs to be on my terms and by people I am well acquainted with. Strangers are not welcome.


  12. all of our dogs love hugs but I know its not for every dog. That is a wonderful book!

  13. mr. ranger,
    i gotta say, i am a fan of huggles. anything involving cuddles and snuggles and huggles has my name written all over it! now my big sis asa, well, she is not a fan of the huggles. she loves to give out kisses, though. if mama or daddy get their faces anywhere near her, she will cover them in licks! heehee!
    the booker man

  14. Mayzie…gosh we should have thought about Cap’n Ripley being our date for date night!! After all we are both cats……..there is always next time.
    Madi and Mom

  15. Hey Mayzie girl. We knows about Lola’s daddy. We’ve been sending out good vibes to them. Poor girl is really worried.

    Ranger, come to think of it… Stella only likes hugs once in awhile. Mostly when it’s on her terms. She’ll tolerate it. Me and Betty love hugs though! The more the better!


  16. Hey Ranger…you thinks you coulds come over here and gives me a great big HUG??? Seriously though, I loooooves me some affection…whenever, whoever, and whatever. I don’t usually stays too long on account of my ADHD though. Now Albert loves hugs too and mum even has him trained to kiss you when you looks at him and say Kiss…he goes right up to you and does. Whitney, well that’s just a whole oter can of worms…she hates everybody and evrything so she doen’t count.
    Now Brudder Ranger, when Albert puts his arm on me, is he being rude and dominate? He seems to do that ALOT!!!!!!

  17. Woof! Woof! Will sure visit Lola’s blog. My mom read that book too … Lots of Gooden Woofs, Sugar

  18. I have my paws crossed for Lola’s Dad!
    Hmmm… I am not a big fan of hugs either!
    I like to be very close to my mom but if she tries to hug me… I run away!
    I guess I like “pawsonal” contact… but in my own terms!
    Kisses and hugs

  19. Ranger, like you, Bilbo also does not like hugs. Mama says she may have to go out and get that ladies book to tell her more.

    Me though, I LOVE hugs!! I also talk in capital letters….must be a girl thang!


  20. One of my favorite books. We happen to have a hug hater ourselves. 🙂

  21. Hi Mayzie.. we will visit Lola’s Blog.. thanks for letting us know. thanks..ack!

    Licks from me!!


  22. HUGS!!! Captain enjoys hugs, he likes to be carried around like a baby and be snuggles. Candy prefers to come to you on her own terms and if she intiates, a hug will work… but if she does not initiate a hug is not enjoyed at all!

    My parents cats… one loves hugs (valentina) and the other (herod) does not!

    xo martine & the kiddlets

  23. Well… We each have our own ideas about hugs… Pippin doesn’t mind too much as long as it is short and sweet or he will start to wiggle.

    Mercy HATES hugs unless SHE’s the one giving the hug. She will go up to the peoples and lay her head and neck around their neck and snuggle, but she will give dirty looks (she learned it is NOT acceptable to nip or growl) if someone picks her up and hugs her.

    Gimli LOVES hugs and wants to be in Grammy’s lap or beside her on her feet at ALL times.

    Dott doesn’t mind too much as long as they are short and sweet and not to hard. She likes to lay like a baby in people’s arms.

    BG can take it or leave it depending on his mood at the moment. He tolerates them VERY well from Grammy, but Robert makes him nervous. He LOVES to hug both Grammy AND Papa himself (like Mercy does).

    I, OC, will only tolerate it if it’s Grammy because Grammy doesn’t hug me very hard, knowing how my hips and back bug me. I tend to growl at anyone else coming to close. I love to hug Grammy back, too, with my head up against her side…

    Sadie LOVES ANYONE that gives her ANY kind of attention… (the big suck up… ) Note from Grammy: You are fairly new and probably don’t know about OC’s continuous war with Sadie…

  24. Ranger…Jada here. I am completely with you on the hug thing. I just really don’t understand it. Mom and Dad continue to try but I just kind of look at them like they are nuts. I am all for a good bit of butt scratches or an ear rub, but hugs, not so much.

    The 2 boys are like Mayzie, Luvs them. Heck Boomer’s favorite place is curled up next dad in like a permanent hug.

    Oh well I guess if it works for them.


    Jada, aka Mr. Nubbin’s sister!

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