The Particular Magic of Dogs

Different animals seem to have different magic about them. There are of course the unique traits of individuals and breeds but if you can generalize about animal magic certain species seem to be better at certain things than others. Dogs, I believe, are particularly good at love magic.

One of my dogs has love power that can change your mood. Some people might call this an extraordinary empathy. When you are stressed she climbs up with forepaws in your lap, head tucked into your belly. Studies have shown that petting a dog or cat lowers your blood pressure. Whatever it is that is stressful doesn’t go away, but there is certainly a relaxing calm that happens when you have to take the time to touch a mass of fluffy white fur even if only to put her fully back on the floor. If you are sad she will get herself onto whatever level you are so she can put her head on your shoulder, if it’s really bad she puts forepaws around your neck to give you a hug.

The other dog has some ability to make you want to get down on the floor and snuggle next to her, at least that works on me. Maybe it’s like the force and she is manipulating my mind, making me think I really want to be smooching a furry snout on the floor. Whatever it is she does have this thing that makes it difficult to walk past her without kisses, hugs, pets, or something just enough to change the vibe to something softer, lighter, more open to the world. That’s powerful magic.

I’ve noticed more and more people flying with dogs, small ones usually that go under a seat because it is nice to have your dog with you wherever you go, but today in the airport was a youngish man with two large dogs. Both Pit mixes doing what they are especially good at: looking inquisitive and content simultaneously. They quietly and unobtrusively followed their person as the gate changed, comfortably napped at his feet as the flight delays were announced in five minute increments, and stretched themselves happily as he plucked at his guitar. It was a curious scene and I was intrigued by exactly what would be happening with these dogs when it was time to board. They were not small and though powerful dog magic is not the kind of magic that lets you shrink yourself into travel size.

Fortunately, man and dogs were just two rows in front of me so I got to see exactly what was happening. The bigger of the two dogs, maybe ninety pounds, stepped politely into the row and proceeded to curl up under the seat just where a laptop might go. Maybe I was wrong about the shrinking thing because he seemed to get pretty compact. The smaller, this one perhaps fifty pounds, was told by his owner to hop into the seat (the window seat in a row of three), which he did, followed by the owner on whose lap the dog would be sitting. The man in the middle seat looked slightly more happy about the situation than if he was seated next to a toddler. A number of people passing got sort of giddy looking at the dogs, there was giggling and much smiling. Dog magic was at work. The middle seat man was relieved of his location burden by a prettyish young woman who was very happy to sit next to the dogs, and offered to trade seats.

Two hours into a four hour flight and the dog magic was nearly complete. The young woman was holding hands with the youngish man, two dogs contentedly snoring at their feet in the way that Pit mixes snore (with snuffling and drool if you are not familiar). I asked the man how this was done, taking two big dogs on a plane, this is something I would very much like to do (in theory at least). He handed me a service card and explained that they just have to be trained to do something.

Dog magic is strong if you are ready for it. The new couple is kissing, not offensively, they seem aware of the fact that it is plane, but there is love brewing. The dogs are smiling just a little, magic worked, service provided, naps well earned.

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