This simple photo was taken one night in 2016 when Rugby and I were just snuggled together on the Big Bed. He was relaxed and calm, and I asked him for a “High Five.” This is what he gave me, and I happened to have my phone handy to snap a picture. I simply love this photo. I really do. It’s one of my very favorites.
Not only does it show off Rugby’s beautiful fawn-speckled legs, and his wild paw fur that seems to have a mind of its own, but it says so much more to me. Volumes, in fact. Sometimes I get a tear in my eye when I see it, because it’s one of those photos that always finds me staring at it for a good long bit.
I see a big human hand, and a small, trusting paw in that big hand. I see the size differential, and I think of how scary I must seem to my little twenty two pound dog! It helps me remember to be less scary and more approachable, because my little dog is really very small and very overwhelmed by the human world. All of our dogs give us the best that they have to offer, and we all need to remember that! No matter how large or small that paw is in our hand, we always need to remember that we also hold our dog’s hearts in those hands of ours!
I think of the little puppy left to raise himself, and the five long years of work that he and I did to learn how to trust each other. I think of how he was shuffled from home to home and from shelter to rescue, and just how terrified he had to feel coming home with me to yet another new home, another new yard, more new rules, another new name, and more new Uprights….and just how brave my little guy really is. Dogs are so resilient, and this photo represents that resilient little dog that I’m lucky enough to call mine.
This photo is a celebration of all of those things. It celebrates the innate trust that dogs have, no matter how they get treated by humans. It represents teamwork which develops when a human decides to share their life with a dog. It celebrates the hours and hours of training that he and I have put in together to create a bond that goes so deeply we are intertwined not only by hand and paw, but heart to heart.
It celebrates humans and dogs….be those dogs purebred or All American Dogs of unknown parentage.
So here’s to the dogs that have captured our hearts lock, stock and barrel!!
Much love, from Rugby James and I!