My roommate of the past 1 ½ years moved out last week and my dog has been miserable. Our schedules worked out nicely that we often went days without seeing one another. I leave for work by 6:30 in the morning and he leaves for work about 3:00 in the afternoon. I’m usually home about 6:30 or 7:00 in the evening, so the dog, Bart, only had a few hours of time alone. Suddenly he is having 12 or more hours alone each day.
I make a point to spend some time playing with him immediately after I get home and I even let him sit in my lap for a while (something I personally do not like, but it makes him happy). I even let him sleep on my bed a couple nights when I did not have enough time to play with him.
Tonight, though, I discovered something that makes him happier than tearing the stuffing out of a new toy.
I worked later than I intended and then had some errands to run, so I stopped off at the only fast-food chain that has an easy-in, easy-out for me on my route home. They do not have options for sides, forcing me to get their famously addicting French fries. I ate them all on the remaining part of my drive home.
Bart did his usual run in circles around me as I dropped off the bags I carried in. Finally I sat down and began playing with him and all was normal until I put my hand over his muzzle to keep his mouth closed. His bug eyes (half pug, half Boston terrier) got even bigger than normal and his tongue darted out to start licking my hands. I did not know it was possible for a dog to get that excited about anything.
His entire body trembled as he licked my hand.
He scoured every dermal ridge and valley of my right hand until no scientifically discernable trace of French fry could be found. He sniffed a few times and found nothing left.
New toys and play are great for Bart. But, I now know that when I want to make my dog truly happy, all I have to do is eat some salty-fatty heart-attack sticks and let him lick my fingers clean.