Some of the most mundane moments can inspire heartfelt joy at the most unusual of times. Take, for example, my most recent trip through the parking lot. As I walked past a row of cars, I happened to notice an SUV with nose prints on the window. If you are a pet owner, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Nose prints are the little smears left on the glass by our furry friends who have yet to outgrow the childlike joy of watching scenery speed past the windows during the ride. Those nose prints provide instant insight on the vehicles owner. First, the vehicle probably belongs to a dog owner. Second, the dog owner loves her pet enough to take her places.
Dog owners are special breed of people. They have learned to accept the unconditional love of a completely dependent pet. They have also learned to share the ups and downs of life with an animal that communicates mostly through body language and has the vocabulary understanding of a toddler. In return, they receive loyalty and devotion from a pet that understands emotion on a primal level.
My truck windows sport nose prints. I am a dog owner. My dog is Bullmastiff / Shar-pei mix named Thor. He is a beautiful fellow who didn’t inherit his size from his mastiff lineage. He did retain those lovely, soft wrinkles that Shar-pei’s are best known for and they are combined with the warm brindle markings of a Bullmastiff. He has large chocolate eyes and short yet expressive ears. Thor is a very quiet dog that had to be taught to speak. Currently, he knows around 25 tricks including sit, stay, up, down, roll, crawl, dance, and how to play hide and seek. I may be biased, but he is a handsome genius of a dog with a heart of gold.
My dog is an integral part of my life. He greets me when I wake. After a long day at work, he meets me at the front door carrying his favorite toy, always willing to share his most prized possessions with me. One of the things I love best about my dog is that he can read my emotions. If I become anxious, he will move closer and press against me. When I am depressed or sad, he will solemnly place his head on my knee or offer up his favorite toy. When I am happy, that positive emotional energy flows through my dog and is exhibited by full body tail wagging.
He never judges me, he always accepts me just as I am, happy to be a part of my life and have me to be a part of his. He thinks I look great in pajamas, jeans, or fancy clothes. He is always willing to go for a run with me but is just as happy with a slow, leisurely stroll to the mailbox. He loves to ride to the park to hunt softballs but is fine with staying at home and sleeping in on Saturday morning. When he looks at my plate of food, I do not suffer body image issues because I know he is just checking to see what I have that smells so tasty, not how much I plan to eat. He loves me for who I am, not for who I could be or who I used to be. He lives fully in the moment. Thor is a beautiful, trusting soul that accepts my flaws and returns joy to me like a plant providing oxygen in exchange for carbon dioxide. That is why the sight of nose prints on a window draws my attention and pulls a smile from my heart.