Visiting granddogs bring both comfort and catastrophe

April 4, 2021

I had anticipated a much-needed visit from my granddog. Everyone knows what a dog lover I am – cats, not so much. Oh, I enjoy cats, but I feel they know a little too much about my personal life. I don’t know how they are so knowledgeable, but I get these looks whenever they notice what I put down as my weight on any form and the fact that I spend hours applying something called concealer to my face.

Anyway, it had been a difficult week. My brother passed away suddenly. And with the restrictions placed on travel in his state because of the pandemic, I was unable to be with him or attend his funeral. He was buried with full military honors, having served in Korea. Even in death, the effects of this virus have far-reaching complications.

I needed the hug and snuggle from my favorite canine. For me, dogs are the epitome of affection during crises or in the face of unexplainable obstacles. They sense when you are sick or grieving. A dog knows how to comfort you just by being there.

My granddog is an enormous black lab almost five feet tall and weighing a hundred pounds. Most of this bulk comes from his gigantic head. It sort of resembles one of those full-size Amazon shipping boxes.

You might say I was somewhat surprised when he entered the house, because he seemed even bigger. He was wearing a cone on his head to keep him from re-injuring a wound on his face, thus making him look a couple of feet longer.

My welcoming baby talk was interrupted with exclamations of, “Whoops! Oh well, that was just an old glass vase,” and “Watch out for...” and, “I never liked that lamp anyway.” He was like a moving couch.

And as the weekend went by, with every motion there was an aftereffect, usually ending up with a crash. With most of the antiques finally being moved aside or off the tables, he didn’t seem to be too bothered. Actually, he was quite comfortable, mostly I think because I was wearing a face shield or mask. He figured I was just one of the guys wearing an apparatus that no one bothered to explain to either of us. Probably had to do with some punishment, like being caught sleeping on the bed in the guest room. Apparently wrinkling the bedspread causes adults to go into a screaming frenzy, much like the movie “The Exorcist.”

Oh, we had our comfort talks and commiserated over our plights. This usually took place at night during our walks. No sense in alarming our brethren over our appearance. Not when you have a certain reputation to uphold at the dog park.

It was tough to snuggle up on the couch, though. His head was like a cheerleader’s megaphone caught upside down. And then there was the glassware and cutlery bouncing around the coffee table, while I was stumbling over this enormous prone body to get to the paper towels. But it all worked out.

If you ever need comfort or soothing during these stressful times, you can always count on your canine friends. They commiserate with any suffering. Just watch out for ... oops, I never liked that glass bowl anyway. We have lots of options today. Stay well.





  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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