(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.
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.