Have You Ever Really Hugged A Dog?

It will change you.

3 min readMay 27, 2022


Bruce being a ham.

We’ve never really been dog people. There I said it. It wasn’t a thing, the wife is asthmatic, and I’m way too focused on writing and reading, there was no room for a dog.

And then our daughter Jules decided to bring home a puppy. She and her boyfriend James rolled up our driveway with a 6 month old Weimaraner they named Bruce.

If you know the breed, they get big, like 100 pounds big. But when Bruce first stood outside my door, he was maybe 40 pounds. His face was too long, too bony and he stood on spindly legs that reminded me of a spider. And he yawned constantly. I found out later, that was how he expressed anxiety.

“Uh uh, nope. Take it back now!” Those were the first words out of My wife’s mouth when she opened the door.

Jules’ just smiled. “I only brought him to meet you, he’ll stay with James.”

I looked at James’ face. He didn’t look convinced. In fact he looked worried, but he kept it together. “We bought him because he was alone in the puppy store.”

Like that made sense. They bought a dog because he was lonely?

“Julie, take it back now, I don’t want it in the house.” I could see a red flush creeping up the wife’s neck. After years of living with her, I knew, when it reached her forehead, she would blow her top. I had to step in.

“Jules, we can’t have a dog here, you know that. O.k. He can’t come in. Your mother…”

“Fine dad, fine. We’ll take him back.” She turned to go. James’ eyes widened, and his mouth worked but nothing came out. He looked like a fish that suddenly found itself on dry land.

And then a car zoomed past and the engine backfired. In that one moment, everything changed.

Bruce’s eyes doubled in size. He whipped around to look then pulled himself away from Jules. He raced up the driveway, dodged around me and literally pressed himself against the missus.

All I heard her say was “OH.” And then she was kneeling down to embrace the trembling puppy. He laid his long face on her shoulder and closed his eyes and sighed.




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