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How the Snuggle of a Schnauzer Saved Me

I have two dogs who are as different as can be. Mr. Darcy is a Pom/Chi and most definitely takes after his namesake. I don’t know how it happened, but he is a gentleman dog. The way he eats is proper, how he sits is proper. Even his barks are short and polite. He is aloof as they come and each day he sets out to remind me that this is his world and I am just lucky to be in it.

My other dog is a Schnauzer/Chi and the polar opposite. His name is Bingley and he also takes after his namesake. He is gullible and bright-eyed, eager to please, nervous, and has absolutely no decorum. He leaps and wiggles and is a constant source of agitation to Mr. Darcy. I didn’t even know it was possible, but I’m sure I have seen Darcy roll his eyes at him more than once.

Bingley can be a bit overbearing, but let me tell you, he is a lover of epic proportions. It is his greatest joy in life to love you and to let you love him. Love really is his superpower.

With Mr. Darcy it is an honor, dare I say, a privilege, when he chooses to snuggle with me. He doesn’t stay very long so I always soak it in like a groupie. But Bingley, he wants you. He needs you. He’s gotta have you. All-day, every day, and he will do whatever it takes to get some lovin’.

When he snuggles, he pushes himself right up on me and if he is near enough, he always has to lay a paw on me. As I write this, he is curled up tightly on a pillow behind me on my bench and I can feel him breathing on my back.

I’m not gonna lie, sometimes his neediness drives me up a wall. There are days when all I want to do is sit on my couch and eat Nutella in peace, but Bingley will have none of that. He has made it abundantly clear that being near me is his greatest joy. And he has changed me because of it.

Deeply I am more of a Mr. Darcy. I have learned to be independent and polite in my affections. In this world we are taught at every turn that needing anything — especially love from anyone other than ourselves is a weakness. We cannot be fierce, and slay, and be queens, while being Bingley. But that silly little dog has taught me that it’s okay to want love. The truth is, that love — the wanting and giving of it is just about the most powerful, fierce thing a person can do in this world right now.

We are all so broken and disconnected and the last thing in the world we need is more aloofness. Vulnerability is at an all-time low. And love, the giving and receiving of it, is the anecdote.

So I hope that we can let it exist in all forms in our life. The giving, the wanting, the receiving. Soak it in as voraciously as Bingley does. Be relentless with the people you love. Be insistent and let them know they matter to you. And when love comes your way and they want to throw some at you, open your arms wide and take it all in. Receive it in full measure.

We don’t need one more ounce of rules or expected behavior. I can take it with everything but not love. Love is born to be wild, and powerful, and to be set free. Bingley taught me that.

I hope you taste it, pursue it, gather it and splatter it because it is miraculous. We could all use a miracle right about now.

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