PEOPLE HAVE BOUNDARIES. They like them. Some like them more than others. “Personal space” is considered very important, especially when it is invaded. But dogs have no sense of boundaries or concept of personal space—and they don’t waste any thought or energy trying to avoid invading someone else’s.
My family is made up of pretty active people. It’s a daily occurrence to find one of us splayed out on the floor, stretching before or after exercise. Watson’s favorite thing to do at times like this was to boldly—as if summoned—trot right up and lick his person’s face. This was his version of giving us a kiss.
This was especially surprising because Watson could be very quiet on carpet. More than a few times, as I did my stretching in the early morning before anyone else was up, I would hear a rustling noise, turn my head in the direction the gentle noise came from, and roll my face directly into Watson’s wet nose. Then came Watson’s “kiss.”
It took a while to get used to it, but as I thought through the fact that Watson only meant to quietly greet me, I realized it was a wonderful way to start my day. Eventually, my favorite thing to do at times like those was to reach up, give his neck a hug, and pat him on the head. He’d welcome my quiet greeting and then lie down and be still. Sometimes, dog kisses can be a bit much. But they can also be very welcoming and peaceful.
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