Dudley uses my leg as a pillow Saturday afternoon.
When we adopted Dudley, in April of 2010, he was so scared of me touching him that he'd pee on himself in fright if I got near him. I spent long hours lying on the floor, next to his crate where he felt safe, synchronizing my breathing to his, quiet and still, to reassure him I would never hurt him. One day, he came out, and laid down beside me on the floor. I put my hand on his side, across a long scar the origins of which we do not know, and matched him breath for breath. There we laid, until he let me know he needed to go out, and I put on his leash without making him fearful for the first time.
It wasn't until almost two years later that he initiated an intimate snuggle with me, after Zelda gave him an appreciation for seeking out a cuddle with Two-Legs.
Now, as we approach our three-year anniversary of finding one another, there is no trace of the frightened dog who arrived. Not long ago, I fell asleep with my head on his back, our heads meeting in the middle of the couch as our bodies stretched away in opposite directions. There we napped together for an hour or so, two contented little monsters, snoring away.
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As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.