Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Paw

Last Thursday was Malcolm's twelfth birthday. We celebrated in our usual style - chicken and rice for dinner. He was happy.
Later in the evening I sat on the floor with Malcolm; scratching him behind the ears. As always, Malcolm draped his paw over my arm while I did so. If he misses with his first attempt, he tries again until he gets it right. Finally, paw in place, he lays his head down, contented, as I scratch his ears, his chin, his chest. He sighs deeply, contentedly, all while his paw rests over my arm.
I have never known why he does this. Is it because he likes contact? Does he enjoy the movements of my hand and places his paw there to keep it in place? Is it instinct?
I have no idea.
What I do know is that Malcolm has always been very generous with the "Paw of Love" (as Katie calls it) with me. While I think the name is silly, the sentiment attached to it is not. I know that I find "the Paw" to be as much a source of comfort for me as much as my hand is for him. There is a security found within this tender touch; this subtle reminder of our bond as a pack.
As Malcolm looks at me again I think that I catch a quick glimpse of his soul within his big, brown eyes.
It is an old soul.
More than that, it is a good soul, one that instinctively knows the power found within a simple, gentle touch.


Blogger Fox In Detox said...

Great post friend. I miss my dog. word verification for this comment is my chien (as one word).

1:52 AM, August 14, 2009  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Not unlike the touch of child's hand in our grown-up one. There is nothing like it.

Our oldest cat, Nikki, likes to come up behind my head when I am sitting on the couch and groom the top of my head with her paw as though I were her kitten.

I think our pets like to show us affection as much we show it to them.

9:49 PM, August 16, 2009  

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