Flashback Favorites: Ranger’s Rants

(Originally published on April 11, 2010)

Good day, dear readers. 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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18 responses to “Flashback Favorites: Ranger’s Rants

  1. Mitch loves to be hugged and kissed and squeezed for as long as mom wants to hug and squeeze him but not me! I’d rather be admired from a distance – no hugs and squeezes for me, please! I do love stritches and belly rubs though.

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  2. I remember this one. I don’t mind a hug. I take it in the spirit in which it’s given. Franklin likes any kind of affection that’s offered, hugs included. We both will take a belly rub over just about anything, though.

    Come to think of it, Ranger, you haven’t been ranting all that much lately, have you? We miss hearing from you. If you need to get any new issues off your chest – like that girlfriend of Mayzie’s who has a thing for you and causes you to hide in the house – we’re here to listen.

    lotsa licks, Lola.

  3. Ranger, great post. There are a lot of humans in our family who aren’t crazy about the hugs either. TD and Ciara love hugs and the more the better. Phantom is not into hugs, but he does like a tummy rub or a good scritchie on his back near his tail:)

    Have a great weekend.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  4. Hi Ranger, we are with you. We do NOT like hugs. They are ridiculous. We don’t mind being scratched on our backs but that is it. We would much rather go outside and play. We do think you are very funny too Ranger. Great post. Hope all of your family has a great week end.

  5. Yep, we don’t all love the hugs… OR the pats on the head. I especially hate those. Mom read that book too… do you follow her bloggie? It’s really great!

    Hope you’re enjoying your vacation!


  6. Some of us are not being used to cuddles I guess me I be luvvin a huggle or two but I prefer evven more


  7. daisydog

    Well Daisy loves hugs, and Roscoe is like you prefers other forms of love. Like belly rubs and treats.

  8. frankie furter

    I am big on cuddle/hug time myself… except.. when I go to bed at night. Then I just want to put my butt up against mom and go to sleep.

  9. That is SOOOO a favourite pawsition of mine

    And fur the same reasons!


  10. Ranger, I miss your posts!


  11. Hey Ranger
    I love the hugs, the neck, ear, belly and back rubs. I guess I like them all except one thing, I am not a fan of paw rubs and mom likes to rub my paws. What is it with a paw?? I like to give my mom kisses and lay right up next to her.


  12. hi Ranger! This is a great flashback! We think that hugs are, well, something that happens and we deal with. Some of us are better about it than others. Being small, you see, makes it even more uncomfortable for us (we are sure the small dogs out there would agree), and well, we aren’t going to say we are fans. We can live with them, but we, like you, would prefer to have things like ear scritches, chin scritches, even snuggles, that are of a less hug-like kind. But they make our mom happy, so we tolerate them – luckily she knows we are not huge fans of them so tehy don’t happen too often (of course, being small we often suffer the indiginty of being picked up, which is similar to a hug, and which we are also not huge fans of).

  13. This was probably my favorite rant from Brudder Ranger. It really did make me think when I tried to give the pooches hugs.

  14. Hugs aren’t too too bad. I know our pawrents like them so we give in.:) Belly rubs are way better though.:)

    Teddy Bear

  15. Daisy

    We tolerate hugs, but we mostly like to sit close–just be near. Chest rubs and ear scratches are the BEST.

    XXXOOO Daisy, kendra & Bella

  16. Sam

    Haha, I think I remember this post! Marge tolerates hugs, but I don’t think she loves them, either… Layla the cat, on the other hand, is a hugging feign… she even wraps her front paws around my shoulders when she’s laying on me.

  17. Ha ha, Brudder Ranger, we all like what we like, don’t we? I myself like it when my Mom squeezes me around my middle when I’m snuggling with her because it makes me feel secure, but then I am a pup who likes to be in small spaces! Dillon likes hugs and bumps his head on Mom when she hugs him!

    Barks and Wiggles,


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