a dog’s touch

I am becoming a very big fan of Jon Katz and his non-human menagerie. I look forward to his pieces in Slate.  this latest one is very touching.

I have little doubt that one of the gifts our companion animals give to us is the simple pleasure of touch: petting, patting, rubbing, being there without self-consciousness or embarrassment or talk.


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7 thoughts on “a dog’s touch

  1. Nothing like crying at your desk at 10 in the morning!My parents' dog, Charlie, is trained as a therapy dog (although, like Jon in the article, it was my parents that needed training). He's so damn intuitive it's scary. His actions always seem to depend on the emotions of the people around him. This isn't as bad as dying (even if it felt like it), but I was staying at their place last year and had been out drinking with my sister the night before. The next day I was laying on the couch with a hangover, feeling miserable and he laid next to me on the floor all day. He was even reluctant to leave me to go for his morning walk (which, for a dog, is saying a lot). It's not like he was even my dog as a kid, they've only had him for the past couple of years.My parents take him to nursing homes and the people absolutely love it. He's a lot like Izzy in the article, it's like he can sense what each person needs from him. Animals are amazing.

  2. aw, dude, didn't mean to make you cry. I'm sure your parents can tell similar stories.I checked the pictures of Charlie in your flckr and he is a sweetie. such soulful eyes. I have no doubt he is known and welcome at the nursing homes.all snerk aside, hangovers can feel like death – at least "death warmed over" – I'm sure Charlie was just doing what he felt has needed when he stayed by you and your aching head.

  3. Hey, no worries, it was good crying. :-) He also goes with my step-dad to the American Legion for beers. I went in one time with them and it's like Norm walking into Cheers. All the old guys yell, "CHARLIE!!"

  4. Did you ever see the story about the cat that would spend time with the people in their final hours? No one else. Just the ones that were about to knock on death's door. And he'd get upset if he couldn't be with someone before they died. It's so cool how these animals just want to comfort those people and make everything a little less scary for them

  5. When my Mother passed at the Nursing home one of the resident dogs came right into her room to stand sentry by her bed. he stood up against the side of the bed like he was saying Good bye to her, it was very touching.
    Also her cats when they came to live with us didn't really accept our house as home until after she passed. up until then they hung out in the spare room where she stayed when she visited (they weren't here so how they knew she slept there I have no clue… but after she passed they stopped doing it.
    I believe animals are a hundred times more intuitive than we are.
    I really think (contrary to PETA's theory) that we need to have animals with us and they enjoy living and being with us too. I get great comfort from all of my animals.

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