Velcro Dog

A Velcro dog normally means a clingy dog. Sometimes, dogs are simply clingy because we allow them to be, by giving them a little too much attention. A dog’s everlasting devotion is one of the best traits. However, it is possible for your dog to be too clingy – a Velcro dog that sticks to you everywhere you go. Junior is a classic example of the same.

You might not mind if your dog rests their head in your lap every time you sit to watch television, but it becomes a problem if they exhibit destructive behaviors due to separation anxiety. But that is not the case with Junior. Since years I have been leaving Junior alone at home for work and come back with everything at its place. No destructions and no accidents (unless he is unwell).

Junior is simply clingy. When I am at home, he will follow me from room to room, and even in the bathroom. He just wants to be around me, because I give him a lot of attention when I am around. The reason for this behaviour is because Junior had developed separation anxiety after Casper passed away.

In true honesty, I love it when Junior is clingy. It gives me a sense of being wanted. His warmth and love makes me feel comfortable and stress-free. A feeling of being unconditionally loved is something that no words can explain.

Anytime I leave Junior at boarding/lodging when I am going out of town, I feel empty. I feel like a major portion missing out of my life. I won’t be wrong if I say that I am actually clingy. I have got so used to Junior sleeping next to me, that I get sleepless nights when I am out of town. I don’t enjoy my evening Tea alone, that I enjoy when Junior is sleeping on my lap and I am sipping on my favourite Tea.

It’s a Velcro relationship. We both are clingy. We both cannot do without each other. I don’t know if this behaviour is bad for the long term, but for today; it’s the best I can ask for.

Dogs that have anxiety issues often develop clingy behaviours. Interestingly, dogs can also become clingy if they sense our stress or anxiety, and I suffer from self diagnosed anxiety. Surprisingly, my vet has recognized this behaviour and often recommends me to “be prepared” as my dog is turning old. But no matter how prepared you are, you can never be prepared.

Let me not get into the negative aspect of this. For now, Junior is my tail. Wherever I go, he follows. Today, for the first time I let Junior walk off leash. I have never tried this before. But he followed me so well, I was shocked. I had never done this before because I live in a crowded city; too many people and vehicles all year round. I always feared Junior running away or meeting with an accident. But today he surprised me. Like a tail attached to my body, he kept walking with me.

It’s bedtime for Junior right now. And he is sleeping right next to my chair instead of sleeping on the bed in another room. The unconditional love and companionship he offered to me is something I cannot get from anyone else. I have tried to give him his space in the past, but failed. Either he got frustrated and stuck around me or I couldn’t manage the distance and clinged onto Junior.  

Having a clingy dog is not necessarily a bad thing. Many people wouldn’t have it any other way. I personally love having my dog by my side. The moment Casper died, I wanted to prove to Junior that he was loved and he was not alone. I wanted Junior to feel secured. And somewhere from within, I too wanted to fill up the void Casper had left. Fortunately, this did not create any behavioural issues with Junior as he sleeps in peace when I am not home. And also plays and stays well when he is at the boarding/lodging.

Clinginess is not all that bad unless your dog has some medical issues and displays it in his behaviour. If that’s the case, you should immediately jump into correcting the behaviour or show a vet. Otherwise, enjoy the love and affection from your dog; because such pure love can only be shared between a parent and a child.  

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I Love You

I was kissing Junior yesterday, when a thought just popped into my head – does he understand what a kiss means? Does he know that I love him? While I was engrossed in my thoughts, Junior put his soft paws on my lap asking for another kiss. I perceived; he does understand that a kiss is the gesture to show my love to him.

Over the time, dogs tend to love human kisses and are quick to respond positively to them. Yes, your dogs know how much you love them. While we express our love to them in the form of Hugs, Kisses or saying I Love You. They show their love by giving long eye contact, wagging their tail, or bringing their favourite toy to you.

It’s not only humans who like to hear these 3 beautiful words “I Love You”, but even dogs like hearing it. Each time I leave the house, I tell Junior I Love You. I see him playing, I tell him again. I come out of the washroom and see him outside the door, I tell him. I have lost count of how many times I tell Junior I Love him in a day.

Your dog’s eyes do much of their talking. You can communicate back to them using the same language of eye contact. When a dog gives you long, lingering eye contact, it’s a way of saying “I love you.” A recent study shows that oxytocin, the ‘love chemical,’ goes up in both dogs and humans when they share a kind gaze.

Junior loves sleeping next to me. He will never sleep alone. If it’s his bedtime and I am still sitting on the couch, he will hop on the couch and sleep on my lap. That’s his way of reciprocating his love. I have tried giving him his own bed in the past, but he refuses to sleep on it. In the day time, he will relax a bit on his bed, but when he actually wants to sleep, he wants me by his side. Isn’t this a wonderful feeling!

Technically, Junior is my tail and I am his shadow. Most of the times, I don’t even have to tell him I Love You to express my love. He just knows.

Learning to say, “I Love You” to your dog is a simple matter of getting to know both your dog’s individual body language as well as those comforts of pack life that your dog’s animal brain still craves. As a bonus, all or any type of love languages benefits your sense of well-being, too.

The bond between owner and pet is like no other—they’re our companions, always along for the ride no matter what ups and downs life brings. They show us joy and make us laugh, and even listen to us like they know exactly what we’re saying. 

“Nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he’s owned a dog. A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes.” – Gene Hill, author of A Hunter’s Fireside Book and Hill Country