There’s a softness that comes over him, when he thinks of him.
I can feel his body relax and his breath deepen. I see the smile that creeps onto his face. In that moment, I feel his heart melting, softening, full of love and adoration for the being he holds so dear. This love, so deep, has become part of him on a micro, cellular level, so woven into who he is and how he presents himself to the world. Beauty embodied. Devotion. Divine.
This is a timeless love. Built to endure distance and separation, full of hope and joy at the mere hint of reunion. Unabashed by the strength of this love, he openly declares it, passionately, freely, and without reservation. Professing its discovery as a life-altering moment and the relationship as the love of his life, the fullness of his heart laid bare for all to witness.
In this opening, he lets in the undeniable existential truth that one day there will be heartbreak. Grief will come all too soon, and when it does he will grieve well, knowing that this love was worth the pain. So, he loves with abandon, treasuring each interaction and drinking in the experience. I watch both of them in this dance of love and devotion, each bringing to the encounter the fullness of his being in each moment. My heart melts as I acknowledge this unbreakable bond between a man and his dog.
Tail wagging, paws pawing, ears flopping, head tilting. Playful banter between two beings enthralled by each other and living in the now.
I watch and think to myself that the world needs more men like him.
Apparently, to be treated like a dog is an insult. But knowing how he treats his, I beg to differ. That’s the kind of love I want. As I witness his capacity to love so fully, it allows me to sink a little deeper into our relationship, knowing that I can trust him to hold the depth of my love. When I hear him acknowledging the devotion his dog offers, I hear the gratitude in his heart for being seen fully, and that he is not afraid to show up and be present. His willingness to love him so selflessly, despite knowing the grief that will come, shows me how resilient he will be in our relationship.
The world needs more men like him to show others that strength comes from a willingness to be humble and vulnerable. Strength is not a brute force that is wielded in isolation. Strength comes from love and devotion in relationship with others. The world needs more men who proclaim their love through devoted action, more men who are able to stand the course of relationships when things get tough; more men who willingly open themselves up for future pain in order to feel present joys; and more men who aren’t afraid to show their softness. For it is in this softness that I see strength.
So to every man and his dog best friend: I love how you love. The world needs more men like you.
Author: Veronica Lac
Photo: Phil Dolby/Flickr
Editor: Jean Weiss