Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I can remember, as a child, just holding a back paw in my hand and being absolutely delighted by its fragrance, its shape.

That ridiculous, curved inertness. The way you could hold it out and the dog would just look at it, perplexed. The fact that it reminded me of a microphone and I could speak into it, and the dog still wouldn't object.

Why paws--especially the back ones--held such fascination for me I am not sure, but they still do. Fortunately I have been able to channel my interest into harmless and perhaps even productive pursuits, like holding those paws steady as I massage them and trim the nails, or coaxing them into a "shake" with a touch and a hot dog.

And fortunately, over the years of coming into contact with so many different sizes and shapes of dogs, my interest has broadened to include cool, fresh noses, flappy or satellite dish ears, silky or hairbrush-like fur--indeed, the whole dog package.

But I still think paws are amazing, and they never fail to cheer me up. In fact try this Miracle Cure that works every time for me: when the worries of the world get you down, when things just seem so...darned...big, and heavy, try focusing on something very small and light. Take in every contour of that paw, the pink or black or vaguely golden pads, the roughness, the dry, salty fragrance, the shape.

Drink it in, and really focus on it.

Did the paw make you smile? 


  1. Sometimes when I am lying in bed; I hold Sampson's paw or I take a sniff of it and smell the earth and grass, it is a comforting smell and with his paw in my hand, I drift off to sleep.

    Loved the post!

  2. I'd like to see a picture of you talking into a dog's paw like a microphone. That was a hilarious image. :)

    I like the smell of a dog foot, myself.

  3. I love paws too and I love that my animals don't mind when I touch them. I love cat paws even more than dogs'. They are so small and fuzzy and cute. My cat was not thrilled when I started touching them the first day we met. But over the years he has learned to tolerate my whims. :-)

  4. Thanks ladies! Jodi, I find them uniquely comforting as well. So wonderful to have a dog like Sampson who will let you enjoy them!

    Pamela, my mom goes one better: she pretends they're cell phones and talks to important people on the other end. "Brrrrring!" [paw rings] "Hello, Pope? No, I can't meet with you today--I'm booked!" [hangs up paw. Dog looks on in amazement]

    Kristine, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think cat paws have that frito smell too? I hope someday my configuration of dogs will allow me to have a cat again! They are so precious.

  5. I feel the same way about dog ears as you feel about paws (though I agree about paws, too). I could write a sonnet about my Chick's beautiful white floppy ears. The contours, the soft fur, the way they move depending on his mood, how they can be swept back and aerodynamic when he is running, perked up when he is concentrating, and flung way out to the sides when he is excited. And the secrets they keep in those little secret crevices inside . . . I love them.

  6. Alex, I adore ears too! They are so velvety, yet leathery. I could massage them all day--fortunately, all the dogs seem to enjoy this!

  7. I love paws too! They feel so nice. Love the soft pads. I also love rubbing my dogs' foreheads with my thumbs and between their eyes down to their noses.

  8. I'm sure they don't mind that one bit either!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.