An article contributed by Carrie Gauthier.
She never understood people who didn’t like animals. Or, people that freak out over a little dog hair on the couch. Or the ones who are so into their material possessions, they have their cats declawed to prevent them from scratching the furniture.
She loved all animals. Equal opportunity employer. Although she was a native cat lover. But she switches teams. Her mom’s Dog, Lady, for instance. Set up the scene: two adult women come back together after having been separated by over 3,500 miles, many years, and a very complex mother-daughter relationship. Both wearing walls of armor, every conversation, an argument for the defense. Impasse. Stalemate. Game over.
But then, Lady. Lady was the common denominator, the release. The greatest unconditional love the Mother had known for the last tumultuous decade of her life. The constant one that never. Let. Her. Down.
For the daughter, Lady was the Wild Card. The magic trick without the smoke and mirrors. To stare down into her muddy brown eyes, raw, primitive, pure, untainted. And that night in a sleeping bag on the floor, in a new place, before furniture, the night terror that gripped her, yanked her psyche from a place so low in her gut, fear so profound it paralyzed her. In she trotted merrily, Lady did, delivering three whimsical kisses to the cheek before happily turning and trotting away, light as air. The spell broken, just like that, the daughter laughed out loud. Recovered. The power of a dog.
What would these innocent creatures do with this information? They are not just our companions. At the parks, in the woods, on our boats, in our backyards, on our beds, we’ve been overrun by these little magicians. What would we do without their innocence, their unquestioning loyalty, their pure naked joy? A polar contrast to the seriousness and artificiality of the world. If our dogs were able to process information as humans do, and if they could grasp the expectations we have for them, would they run screaming? Well, barking. Howling?
On some very simple level, the dogs, they understand. They have to. They know all about our neediness. And they’re okay with it. Lady likes it just fine, because she is pure love. Just like the slightly bruised love—restored—between a mother and her daughter.