We went to visit some friends today, friends whom we hadn't seen in a while. They have added two adorable puppies to their family since the last time we saw them, Chloe and Lexi. Chloe and Lexi are West Highland Terriers, like the little guy you see on commercials for food that comes in wee packages sized just right for small dogs. Our friends lost two dogs last summer on the same day that my brother died. Daisy was also a Westie, and Buster was a Cairn Terrier like Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Buster and I hit it off very quickly. When I came in and sat down on the sofa, he would jump up on the sofa and then jump up again to the sofa back. He'd come over (I had taken my glasses off in preparation) and rub the side of his head and shoulder on my face to show his affection. Then someone would say, "Get her nose, Buster!" and he'd gently grab my nose with the side of his mouth. My laughs would make his ritual even more exciting for him to perform.
I remember when I was told that there only a few people that Buster showed love to in this manner. I was touched to be one of his special people, and I still cherish my memories of his delightful show of affection. As we set off to visit M and S and their new babydogs, I told Trent that I hoped they would like us. Trent scoffed because in the entire time he has known me there has been a grand total of one pet that hasn't warmed up to me, which is probably one of the reasons he calls me Mother Nature.
Chloe and Lexi have recently discovered that they are able to do something really cool called barking, so they greeted us with a bit of a chorus along with some excited peeing on the floor. They were shy at first, but little puppy tongues were licking my toes before I sat down, so I held great hope for doggy friendship. Before long, Lexi made a move to come see me on the sofa. Her personality is a bit like Buster's - she was willing to check me out fairly soon. Chloe is a bit more like Daisy - slightly more reserved, taking her time to get to know us. Before long, Lexi was licking my face, and Chloe soon joined in the fun.
Trent was soon getting his own Fido Facial from Lexi. She got on the back of the sofa to lick the right side of one of our faces. When it was sufficiently bathed, she walked around to the other side to make sure it got the same loving treatment. We both got our share of lickings from both of these adorable little puppies. What made everything seem to come full circle was when little Lexi began to nibble gently on my nose. It was almost like getting a kiss from my old friend Buster.
As we sat and visited, the puppies fell into the deep sleep that only exhausted pups can manage to pull off. They would wake up and see that we were still there, waiting for more puppy kisses, which they generously gave. And suddenly, magic happened. A little puppy opened her mouth and gently chewed on my nose with her side teeth. For a brief, magical moment, my old friend Buster was back and young and getting my nose again. It brought a smile to my face and my heart. Dogs may come into and out of our lives much more quickly than we can bear, but the love they give so freely stays in our hearts forever. Lexi and Chloe, thank you for giving me your friendship. Buster and Daisy, thanks for the joy you added to your family's lives. Like our little Paris, you are loved and missed. But like the best of friends, you are in our hearts forever.