Molly and Ozzy are off to stay with some other Labradors this weekend. And so this morning I packed up their stuff and dropped them off at their temporary home. But before I did so, we had a brief discussion about the importance of behaving well and went through our usual ‘see you again soon’ ritual.
I lived in Russia for a while when I was younger and it was the custom among the people I lived with to spend a few minutes prior to any kind of departure just sitting with those from whom they were departing.
I’ve got into the habit of doing the same thing. Even with the dogs. And so we found ourselves, bags packed, sitting in a small huddle on the living room floor.
Ever since she was a puppy, Molly has enjoyed sitting up-close to me, her forehead pressed against mine, as I scratch her ears and tell her how good a girl she is. And so we spent a couple of minutes doing just that.
Ozzy, on the other hand, has – inevitably – developed her own approach. I kneel in front of her and she sits on her haunches, leans forward and presses the top of her head into my chest. It looks a bit odd, I admit, but she seems to find it really comforting. And anyone who knows Ozzy would realise that, if she didn’t like it, there’s no way on Earth she’d put up with it.
I don’t know if everyone has these little rituals with their dogs or whether it’s just me. (I suspect it’s not just me.) But I love that we have these brief moments where we can just be together. No need for commands, biscuits or tennis balls. Just man and dogs sharing a bond. Knowing that we’re together, even when we’re apart.