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the healing power of snuggles

I go back to work tomorrow after having been off since the end of November. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am doing much better than I was three months ago and I can actually go out into the world without having a nervous breakdown. On the other hand… I don’t know how I feel about going back to work, my job in particular. Part of it has a lot to do with the fact that I have to continuously walk by the building that the guy jumped from last March. I can’t help it. It’s right next to my office. I am just so over down-town, big cities in general lately. The jumper guy just added to my original dislike of cities. I’m also at the point where I’m ready to move on to a different job. Something that I really, truly enjoy. I just don’t know what that is yet – besides moving into the publishing world. I’m not ready for that one yet though. Still have some schooling to finish. Either way, I’m back to the real world tomorrow morning.

Besides missing not having to wake up to an alarm clock in the mornings, I am seriously going to miss snuggling with Sophie.

Snuggle Selfie

This dog, this tiny, vocal, fluffy little girl has been a huge part of my healing process. I didn’t even realize how much she’s been a part of it until recently. Whether it was the middle of the night, or during a crying fit, or just sitting quietly on the couch while I browsed the internet, Sophie will jump up beside me at least 10 times a day just o squish her face into mine, give me kisses, let me rub her belly and just hug her tightly for ever. She is a champion snuggler and I have never had a dog that loves to cuddle as much as she does. Sophie just loves to be loved and to share that love with her humans. She’ll alternate being beside me on the couch and then wandering over to Shawn at the table and stare at him, climb up onto his lap and give him kisses. She bounces between the two of us snuggling away. I’m a little worried how she’s going to be once we’re both back at work full time. I’m at least going back progressively while Shawn is hopefully on his way to finding new employment. I’d like to think there will be a decent enough transition period that Sophie won’t freak out about being alone (with Jinx) for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Normally Sophie doesn’t DO selfies.

I realized this evening, as Sophie and I were smooshing our faces together, that it’s going to be impossibly hard for me to be gone all day tomorrow and not have snuggle moments with her. She’s been the best hug, the best comfort while I have been home. When I am anxious or sad I just bury my face into her fur and hug her while she grumbles at me. She’s vocal. She sings, she grumbles, she’ll occasionally bark at me when she thinks I’ve not paid enough attention to her (or paid her the wrong kind of attention… she might have told me off after the Olympic Ice Dancing routine I tried with her in the kitchen this weekend…)

Go, Team Canada!

But she’ll come right back up to me, tail wagging and jump up on her hind legs, stretching her JAZZ PAWS! up in the air at me so I’ll bend down and hug her. And hug her, and hug her and love her. She’s a bundle of love and affection that’s kept me together at times I was sure I’d fall apart. She didn’t care that I thought I was broken. She didn’t think I was broken, she just loved that I was on the couch next to her.

Jinx is great when I am down and out, he is. He’ll stay close and keep a watchful eye on me. He’ll curl up on the couch next to me, but he won’t snuggle. He doesn’t like kisses. “Boys don’t get kisses, Mummy!” is his stance on the matter. But he’ll protect me and he knows when I’m sick or sad. Sophie however, will jump right into that fire and smoosh herself right into your heart if you let her.

The best part about you exercising at home, Mummy, is that I can Downward Dog with you!

Both dogs stay near me constantly, but Sophie likes to be touching me as much as possible. She’ll take any opportunity for a cuddle. She’s not clingy or needy, don’t get me wrong. She likes her space well enough! Sophie just seems to know when I might need a little extra love and a giggle in my life. If I’m trying to hold a one-minute plank, or get 25 sit-ups in, she’ll sometimes come right over and stick her nose in my eye (thanks) and give my nose a little lick. Then she’ll slide down into play-mode and hang out with me as I giggle up a storm and take a break from the exercise.

Once I’m on the couch, she’s up there waiting. SNUGGLE TIME! Don’t play that computer game too long! Don’t watch too many hours of Buffy or Veronica Mars without stopping for a CUDDLE BREAK! Don’t forget to LOVE ME!

Sophie is my little snuggle bug and I’m almost in tears to have to leave her home while I’m at work the next two days. She doesn’t sleep in bed with us anymore (preferring to claim MY spot on the couch overnight!) so I won’t have as much snuggle time between getting home, eating dinner and then bed. I’m not sure who will miss whom the most. Thankfully she and Jinx will have Shawn to snuggle for most of tomorrow – although he’s got an appointment in the morning so he’ll actually be leaving the house with me at ten to eight tomorrow morning. Poor dogs, they’re in for a bit of a shock.

If I could get these dogs certified as therapy dogs for myself, I would. Having them – especially Snuggle Sophie – around me all day has been one of the best things I could possibly have asked for while dealing with my PTSD.