It's time for me to come clean. I need to tell the truth and hope that nobody will judge me too harshly. I love to be the recipient of random kisses. They are just as appreciated coming from total strangers as they are from those I already know. I have had them from males and females, in various parts of the USA, as well as in Budapest and Pornóapáti Hungary (my family's village), and even Paris, France. Yes, it's true. I have a weakness for sweet, random kisses. But before you start thinking unkind things about me, let me clarify. I have a weakness for random kisses from dogs.
I've written before about how there must be something about my face that encourages complete strangers to strike up conversations with me at the grocery or doctor's office, or wherever. But it isn't just that way with humans. Trent has often referred to me as Mother Nature because animals seem to instinctively know that I love them. And with dogs, it seems to get magnified several times. Two things happened today that reinforced that it isn't just something that I imagine. First, and most sad, was our chat with our neighbor Edna this afternoon. Edna is the human that belongs to a sweet little Shih-Tzu named Chata. But when we came home from errands today and saw Edna on her way to the mailbox, there was no Chata with her. She told us that her sweet companion died last month.
Edna had tried knocking on our door to let us know that Chata was gone because Chata really seemed to adore me. Chata was a very sweet and friendly dog, but with me, she took it a step further. If I happened to head to the mailbox when Chata was there, she would strain at her leash when she saw me coming. If Edna saw me first, she would say, "Chata, there's your friend!" Chata would start to choke herself trying to run over to see me. She would get rubs all over, and put her little front paws on my leg to make it more convenient to lift her and receive kisses. I will definitely miss her, and her kisses!
Later this afternoon, when I went to get something out of the car, I ran into our neighbor dog Roscoe. Roscoe is a Yorkie-Beagle-something else I can't remember mix. He looks like a dark blond version of Toto from The Wizard of Oz. I have only seen Roscoe once before, at our apartment complex Christmas party. He was polite, but a bit overwhelmed to be around so many people. Today when I stroked his head, he sat down and promptly offered me a chance to give him some tummy rubs, which we both enjoyed immensely. He got up so that I could pet his face and back, and hopped up on his hind legs to steal a kiss. Aw, Roscoe, I'd have given it freely!
It's happened to me more times than I can count, and even with dogs who have never heard a word of English. There was a sweet Pomeranian who spent hours sitting outside a cafe near the apartment we stayed in when we were in Budapest. She would leave her human's side and come sit next to my chair since I only had humans for company. Sometimes she sat under or next to my chair; once, she even sat in a chair next to me. She knew her place! When we were walking around my family's village, a pit bull was trying his hardest to wiggle through the wrought-iron t gate of his yard. One could almost hear him saying, "Kérem, jöjjön közelebb! Azt akarom csókolni a száját! (Please come closer! I want to kiss you on the lips!)"
It happened when we four women were in Paris as well. We stopped at a little grocery a short distance from our hotel, and a lady was leaving with her dog. Julie, Liz, and Marie all gave the dog loving pats on the head as they walked by. When I stopped to pet her for a moment, she got up on her hind legs and started to give me kisses. "Mon cher! Je ne vous connais pas, mais je dois vous saluer de baisers! (My dear! I do not know you, but I must greet you with kisses!)" Her human was a bit embarrassed, but I let her know with the universal language of smiles, along with my few words of French, that I didn't mind a bit. My sister and friends just smiled and shook their heads. They had seen it many times before. It was just another day, and another walk with Katrina, who was getting more random kisses!