Awwww… vs. Awe

cavalier-king-charles.jpgWink has been with us for three weeks now. He is as sweet a dog as I have ever come across. He’s so cute and cuddly and full of love that everyone who meets him can’t help but say, “Awwww…”

And then they can’t help but pick him up, for which they’ll receive a tiny face bath for their troubles.

Friends have threatened to slip him into their coat pockets and steal away with him.

His mere presence makes grown men make silly faces and cooing sounds.

Like a helpless baby, this puppy brings out the nurturing, protective side in everyone who lays eyes on him. Yes, that even includes Andrew. Don’t tell him I’ve told you, but more than once I’ve seen him laughing out loud at Wink’s adorable antics. He even scoops Wink up to hold him on his lap. This is the power this little dog holds.

Interestingly, I’ve discovered, it’s not the kind of power that holds much sway over me. It’s not that I’m immune to Wink’s special charms because I’m not. It’s just that, when it comes to dogs, there’s a deeper power that moves me.

Australian Shepherd Kiera

This is what leaves me in awe.

It’s the power of her intelligence.

Oh, sure, beauty doesn’t hurt; she is achingly beautiful to me. As well as incredibly agile and athletic. But those are just sideshows.

What moves me about Kiera in a way that no other dog has is the profound sense of partnership she provides.

You see, Kiera and I are in it together — we share a sense of interrelationship where each of us derives an acute sense of well-being, rightness, and safety from being together in what can sometimes seem an impossibly difficult world.

So while Wink is sweet and wonderful and perfect for Cait, and he has the “Awww” factor to the power of ten, he doesn’t have what I need.

What is it I need? I need a dog that I know will brave the elements, go through thick and thin, and walk to the ends of the earth with me. I need a dog who is as keyed into me as I am to her. There’s something very essential and primal about it for me.

And, lucky for me, that’s exactly what I have with Kiera.

How about you? What is the essential quality you need from a dog?

11 thoughts on “Awwww… vs. Awe”

  1. Beautiful.

    I’ve always loved dogs, but have never felt that magic until I got my McKenzie. She’s my world. She helped bring me home after I got lost cross country skiing…in the dark…with no map or compass…The whole time I was worrying about her – what if she broke her leg in the dark? What if she got too cold? I wanted to stop, and rest and wallow in self-pity but she urged me to keep going, to see where the next trail went. I now keep close the picture I took of her when we made it home, she looks so worn out and glad to be home and warm. She’ll always be my wonderful, darling girl.

  2. Awww. I can relate to this post so much. Congratulations on Wink. He’s incredibly adorable. There is nothing like a puppy, yet, I know exactly what you mean about Kiera. There is something that develops as a dog matures that makes them even more special. At least that’s how I feel about my Mooka, who looks just like Kiera. You grow together in a way that takes time. I love the way she leans against me, or sits on my foot, letting me know that we’re in this together, and she is silly when I need a laugh. Yay for dogs!

  3. Hi Karen, Wink is totally beautiful! As the proud pack leader of William, Grayson and Georgie I understand the bond. We don’t have children and my family aren’t really into dogs so they really don’t seem to get the bond and the flood of pride and love I get when I see my boys if I’ve been out for a while. From having the puppies (William and Grayson) I’ve noticed that the bond of trust builds gradually, I’m now starting to know what they’re going to do and when and I’m looking forward to strengthening that bond like I have with Georgie who is now 11.
    Love your blog, keep writing!

  4. Very cute, must be so much fun having a puppy at home. Lovely description of your relationship with Keira. Since I haven’t worked with Ginga, not sure if I have that. I think I do… but haven’t tested it.

  5. Mountain Dweller

    Out of necessity, we choose all our dogs for their love of sheep. Their love of our front porch seems to follow and our love of them then comes quite naturally whatever their qualities!

  6. Oh Kiera is lovely.

    the thing I get from dogs is the unconditional love. I was a cat person who hated dogs for years then I discovered that dogs love you even when you don’t love yourself, while cats tolerate you with occasional bouts of love.

    Plus you can DO things with dogs: go for walks or rides in the car. cats not so much

  7. Something drew me to your blog today, it’s been one year since our beloved Belle died, and Kiera reminds me of her so much. Not the way she looks, but the way she carries herself. I can’t say what I need from my dogs, other than their constant companionship and love. Our dogs “help” us with every farm task, and listen to our woes… . What I really wonder is, do we supply every thing that they need from us?

    PS: Trace got an email yesterday announcing the arrival of his siblings. :) I put a link in the farm section – Rocking RMB Ranch – adorable pics and puppy breath galore!

  8. As you know, I have a cat. I’d like to think our relationship is special, but the truth is, it can’t compare to the bond between a person and dog. There’s just something about dogs.

  9. Wink certainly looks like a cutie, and I hope he and Cait develop the same type of deep relationship you and Kiera have. I think only a dog lover who has had that relationship can understand it. It’s one of those thing a person has to experience to understand and appreciate.

    As for what I need…it’s hard to put into words, but like you, I need a dog that’s as keyed in to me as I am to him or her. It’s something I can’t look for…it either happens with a dog or it doesn’t, and for me it usually happens in an instant.

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