White Dog jumped down to make room as Steve brought Puff out of the bathtub and placed her in the towels I held open to receive her. I wrapped the towels around her and gently blotted the wet furs; softly I rubbed the top of her head and under her throat. She was shivering.
Steve brought out the dog blow dryer. All of the White Dog Army hates the noise and blowing hot air but in today's Autumn chill, Puff seemed to enjoy the process. I lifted her to turn her and pull out the wet towels. She stretched and resettled nestled against me like a baby, her head rested against my heart. We finished with the blower and Steve shut it off. Puff pressed closer and shuddered.
I wrapped the sweatshirt which I had laid aside around her and cuddled her. I expected her to decide that she had endured enough contact and to squirm to get down. Instead she sighed and struggled to keep her eyes from closing in a nap.
It was one of the moments when your heart almost bursts from the connection you feel. I would have held her for days like that if she chose it.
Puff is not demonstrative. She, even at her advanced age, is fiercely independent and seldom lets her guard down. For her to so willingly stay wrapped in my arms was amazing...and a little frightening in its way. She is 17 years old with LOTS of health issues and I sometimes fear that these concessions to be loved and pampered are signs of creeping feebleness or worse.
As if she could read where my thoughts were heading, Puff opened her eyes and looked up into my face. It was without a doubt an act of reassurance that caused her to push against me, then, and to demand to be put back on the ground. I hugged her a second longer as we put on her t-shirt and refastened her collar; she grunted at the kiss on the top of her head and then stalked off to get a deep drink of water.