Do you know that ideal picture of a person sitting in a room, music playing gently in the background, a crackling fire, a good book in hand and a dog curled up, head lolling on that person's lap? But for the crackling fire, I have achieved that perfect little bit of bliss. I waited a long time for it.
Growing up and into my twenties, my family had boxer dogs. They are amiable, fun-loving family dogs and I still have my heart set on having another boxer one day. Yet there was always one thing that bothered me about the boxers we had. As much as I had fun walking them, stroking their enviably soft ears, squishing their fun jowls, I never got the gesture of affection I saw my sister and father get. I, too, wanted a sleeping dog to snuggle up and rest a weary head on my lap. It never happened. I tried all kinds of coaxing and sweetness. Nothing. I thought I'd never know that kind of sweet moment of pure love from a dog. Then I met Buster.
I've had Buster for one and a half years. Runt of the pack, living outdoors since he was just weaned, he was the happy-go-lucky, mixed breed puppy I passed by on my way to work. He was a bit too happy for the other dogs in the neighbourhood, though. More than I cared to see, his pale fur was smeared with blood from one submission session or another. Fate placed his care into my hands around his sixth month and it has been love, sweet, love ever since.
When I first got him, Buster was a shivering worrywart, scared of doing the wrong thing but he soon learned that my man and I were head over heels in love with him. He knew in a short time that he'd never have to shiver in the cold anymore if he didn't want to nor have to sneak around to find food when his brother wasn't looking. He is currently a much-plumper, long-legged couch hog who likes to chase squirrels, birds and water from the hose. He has us wrapped around his little finger. Most of all, he is the answer to my snuggly puppy dreams.
Buster loves to cuddle, practically rubbing himself around you like a cat or flopping like a fish across the couch so he can burrow his head on your lap or behind your back. He'll curl up like a ball one day or stretch out like a bear rug across you the next. Bliss really does happen while a gently snoring puppy dog uses you as a pillow, occasionally twitching and whimpering in his sleep as he chases that elusive cat through his dreams. It melts my heart every time.
My prayer was a simple one and I thank God every day that a furry little angel entered my life ready to snuggle.