This is something that I’ve been wondering about today, and it’s popped into my head on two separate occasions. The first was when I publicly outed my three pooches on Twitter this afternoon, and the second was when Millie decided to share her love at the Animal Hospital.
It’s my mum’s 70th birthday today (happy birthday mummy) and therefore she must be subjected to extra affection from anybody/thing that she comes into contact with.
Myfie, Ellie and Millie all get extra excited when they spot gift-wrap and cards laying around, or presents being opened. So once they had worked out who was the centre of all this attention, there was no stopping them! All three jumped up on her knee for ‘kisses’. They know ‘kisses’ as a sort of command really, because, well because I taught them it. In fact, it’s the first thing I’ve always trained my dogs before ‘sit’ and ‘paw’ or anything else. It’s easy isn’t it? Dogs naturally want to show you affection and vice versa, so it’s just a matter of putting a name to the act. And I do believe it is affection they are showing us. I once worked with a lovely lady who had read or heard that the reason a dog will lick you is because in the wild, wolf cubs lick their mothers mouth to encourage her to regurgitate a meal for them (I know, I know, vile, sorry!). In other words, they are trying to tell you they are hungry and not how much they love you. I obviously told her I thought she was off her rocker and so was that whole concept! But, nevertheless she thought the idea of kissing ones pet, or having them kiss you, was absolutely disgusting! She keeps rats, I’m unsure I’d let a rat kiss me either; but then…
Anyway, I digress. So, the dogs are mugging my poor mum and she doesn’t stand a chance if I’m honest. One is easy to appease, but three is impossible and while she isn’t averse to giving them a little peck on the head herself, she’d much rather they didn’t lick her! But they did, continuously, and I found the whole episode so cute I decided to tweet about it. It wasn’t until a little later that I wondered what people might make of that. As said, it’s a normal occurrence in my home and I assumed my like-minded doggie friends would agree. But it’s a pretty evenly split debate I’ve found, along with allowing your dog to sleep with you.
The second incident came at the Veterinary Surgery when I took Millie in for her 10-day check-up (she’s doing great by the way, and I’m pleased I don’t have to hold her back as much from her rugged play anymore). Millie has taken a dislike to the men in white coats, she’s fine with the nurses, but the actual (shh) V.E.T. makes her want to run in the opposite direction and she starts trying to moonwalk out of the door. So, I pick her up and place her on the examination table. The very serious man squats down to her level and asks her what the fuss is all about, and why doesn’t she just give him a kiss? And so she does! French style, because she’s way quicker than he is (… and she’s trained). Oops.
He spits a little and wipes his mouth, then lets out this huge booming laugh (making us both jump) and actually plants a full smackeroo on her lips in return. And that’s it; she’s putty in his hands for the rest of the appointment. They are now best friends. I’m pleased, but for that split second I actually thought I was going to die of embarrassment and I apologised for her. He told he if he didn’t love animals, he wouldn’t be in that job and as a Vet he’s had far worse in his mouth! Yeah, I don’t want to think about that too much either.
But, the thing is, doesn’t that mean he shares my feelings on this? That a kiss is a sign of affection, regardless of species?
Of course there’s more than that to this debate, it’s the hygiene situation that gets people talking. For the record, I do not indulge in snogs à la France. A kiss from my beloveds is usually in the region of three quick licks to the chin, nose or forehead. Skin washes, so I personally don’t find it offensive and well, if a mistake happens here and there (Ellie is a nightmare) and I don’t move my head away in time etc. I don’t lose any sleep over it. I’m pretty sure that I’m never going to catch anything from them and there are times when I do say no to kisses (just eaten, just come in from outside, have I just seen them clean themselves?) but that’s just my personal squeamish count. I’m happy to let my dogs kiss me and I’m happy to kiss them back. Furthermore, I’ve just discovered: I’m happy to admit it too. Mwah Mwah!
I’d love to share your thoughts on this though. Everybody must have an opinion on this one, right? If you’re not so comfortable about admitting anything, please feel free to state ‘my friend’ etc. Do you think it’s unhygienic? Or do you disagree that our dogs/cats/rats link any of this nonsense to affection? I’d love to hear what you think! Thanks for taking to time to listen to my ramblings, while I sorted it out in my own head too! I snog my dogs and I’m proud!