There is a time of day, almost everyday, that is unmatched in its warmth and sincerity. Having my dog greet me after an endless day at work is the one time of day that I forget about everything, and am glad to witness his relief and happiness that I have walked through the door.
Oliver is an unusual dog. Apart from his mysterious mutt attributes, which is a mixture of maybe a terrier and a lab/retriever (no one knows), the way that he reacts to either new people or me when I’ve been gone for a while is for less of a better term: erratic. Since everyone in my house is gone for most of the day, Oliver has to be kept in his crate (which is rather large).
When I walk in, Oliver stands ready with a toy in his mouth, head still and tail wagging. As I get closer to his crate, he starts doing this little dance with a front paws, gearing up to make his charge out of the crate. He runs down the stairs, still with toy in mouth, and makes this sound that can only be comparable to that of Chewbacca from Star Wars, but much higher in pitch. Those who have heard this laugh can never keep themselves from laughing.
He runs, excited beyond all belief, around in a manner that attempts to cover nearly every square foot in the house, and it’s not until I sit down that runs up to the couch and nearly jumps right on me. It’s even more alarming when someone is already home and he’s at the door. I’m not sure what surprises me more: having my ADT security system go off when I forget to set it, or when Oliver jumps on me.
Sometimes he’ll sit next to me, and try to place his paw right in my hand or on my shoulder. It’s one of the most humanistic requests that I have ever seen in a dog – he just wants to feel that comfort, which I am happy to offer.
The kind of joy that I feel at this moment is hard to describe, but just seeing his enthusiastic love is unmatched. The whole thing has me wondering just how much time we put into appreciating a seemingly simplistic moment. So many sources of stress and uncertainly that come from mid-day puts us in a rough spot that seems so hard to escape, and maybe that’s why most of us appreciate having the furry companion.
There is a lot of talk about the right and wrong ways to greet a dog, but no two dogs are the same. This never really concerned me the way that others feel. The emotional contingent takes over any logistical priorities. It’s just being there in the moment, really. I look forward to it everyday that I am out of the house. Sometimes its comedic, sometimes overwhelming, but most of the time, it’s just nice to be there for each other.
Next time you and your pet come to meet again after a day (or several days) out, appreciate the greeting. Soon you’ll remember why you put the temporal and financial resources into having your dog.