EVERY day is a time for love in my book. But humans get all wound up about love, so I thought I would help you get the most “bang for your buck,” as they say. I’m sure you are thinking about how to show your loved ones, big and small, two- and four-legged, that they are especially adored, so, rather than getting all wound up and frustrated that your best efforts don’t hit a home run, maybe we could all try to understand our special ones’ primary “love languages” so they will clearly receive, understand, and feel our efforts when we send our love messages. You might even want to explore your love languages together at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/.
I can tell you that my own love language is definitely Physical Touch! I need to sit close to you, in your lap, perhaps (even though I do weigh almost 70 pounds), and be touching you and kissing you at all times. It probably feels a little crowded to you sometimes, but man, that’s like air or water to me. If I can’t feel your presence physically, I just feel horribly alone. I have to snuggle and cuddle and just be nose to nose, back to back, and hand to paw all the time. It helps me know that I exist. Do you take the time to “reach out and touch someone” every day? Touch increases oxytocin and serotonin levels, but that’s a topic for another discussion.
My big brother, Bailey’s main love language is Words of Affirmation. That means he likes encouraging words (which means “to inspire courage” and, boy oh boy, does he need courage). I WOOF at him frequently to let him know I love him and I have his back. Often, I remind him that I think he is very wise and I praise him for hearing noises outside that nobody else can ever hear. He has great radar for potential danger! Are appreciative words important to those you love?
My smaller brother, Ollie, likes Acts of Service best of all. Especially since he was disappointed and hurt so much as a pup and had to do so much for himself before he was old enough, he really has come to believe that actions speak louder than words. He is especially touched if somebody goes out of the way to do something for him – to help him. The greatest “gift of service” is taking him for a walk, because he needs to walk “for his regularity,” as he says, and there is a leash law in our city so he can’t go alone. I’d take him for a lot of walks if they’d let me. Do the people in your life feel secure when you go out of your way to do helpful, nice things for them?
Now my youngest brother, Dudley’s, favorite love language is certainly Quality Time. He needs undivided, focused attention, especially when he makes a “bid for connection” by bringing a toy, hoping to play tug. Usually, when he does this, I know to stop what I’m doing, even if it’s napping, and grab the other end and pull with all my might, staring directly into his eyes so he knows I’m right there with him. If I try to watch TV at the same time or just limply hang on to the other end of the toy, he just doesn’t feel the love. He needs eye contact and engagement, and attunement. Do you abandon your nap or put your smart phone down when your loved ones need your eyes to meet theirs?
And last but not least, there is the whole matter of Receiving Gifts. Gifts spell affection and love to all of us, especially if they involve food! I’m just sayin’ in case anybody hasn’t noticed, that there is a big “Dog Treats” jar right on mom’s coffee table at the office and those little tasties sure communicate love to all of us all the time. So anytime you want to put those enviable opposable thumbs of yours into that jar and bringing up a “gift” for us, just know that we can feel the love! Dudley and Ollie are fools for toys they can gut and shake around vigorously and I am a ball freak—any kind, any size, any shape! So displaying your love through a gift is always appreciated as long as it’s a gift that is one of our special favorite things. For example, I bring Dudley and Ollie toys, not my cherished balls because they love toys, and I would give Bailey treats, if I could only get my paw into that jar. What little gifts excite your special people?
So, in summary, I wish you love.