There is something in a dog’s gaze – the intense, eye-locking look – that gets me every time. It’s in that moment that I feel my dogs tell me everything. Amazing, really, considering that without even uttering a word (and yet, somehow, I expect them to open their mouths and talk at any moment) they are perfectly able to tell me how they feel, express their wants and greatest needs. This simple yet supremely powerful gaze makes me want to protect them, love them and give them everything.
So, yes, I am totally guilty of humanizing my dogs. I admit it. But here’s the thing: maybe we aren’t that different from our pets after all. Our basic needs are the same. This weekend, as we invited our little 3lb houseguest, Cooper, into our home, I witnessed this phenomenon first hand. Cooper fell in love. For real.
Cooper (Coops, as we’ve started calling him), being the friendly little chap that he is, entered our home eager to make friends. The usual getting-to-know-you sniffing ensued and things were copasetic. But then, not surprisingly and as very commonly happens, Cooper started mounting Nellie as they played and bounced around. It was obvious that Nellie found it playful and was determined to carry on about her day with little Cooper latched onto her leg. It’s pretty fun and terribly sweet watching a 10lb dog walk around the house pretending that she doesn’t actually have a 3lb mini Yorkie growth on her bum.
Yet while none of this behavior is atypical and is actually quite common, the carefree dominance of Cooper’s activities morphed into pure infatuation for Nellie. He pined for her with very audible squeaks as he stared longingly stared at her while licking her all over. When Nellie got up, Cooper got up. When Nellie walked into the kitchen to have a drink of water, Cooper walked right behind her, gazing at her as she rehydrated herself. Nellie would return to bed and Cooper nuzzled up next to her, never losing sight of his new found love. Nellie was very content to absorb the infatuation, even revel in it.
Now the sun is going down, everybody has retreated to their individual beds and Cooper has given up his courtship for the day. It’s quite exhausting being in love after all! Tomorrow is a new day and little Coops must recharge his batteries for a new day of chasing – and winning over – his one and only.