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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Face to Face Magic


My husband didn't sleep well last night.

Seems he had a pit bull's face lying on top of his most of the night. Lizzie wanted to sleep cheek-to-cheek with Daddy, and Daddy let her.

Why didn't he just move her, I asked. But I already knew the reason. He liked it, despite the disruption to his sleep.

This face-to-face thing we all have with our animals....it's nothing short of exquisite and magical. Seems like there's no more intense and loving intimacy shared between any species of animal.

Face to face.

Cats rub their faces against yours when they like you. They're leaving their scent there and marking you as a part of the family. It's the ultimate compliment.

Horses will stand with faces so close that they're breathing each other's air. There's comfort in that closeness of heads, brains, emotions, and warmth.

People hug, which brings their faces close together. The closer the faces, the more intimate the moment. Strangely, people are more afraid to share this closeness with each other than animals are! Brushing a person's cheek during a hug is much more powerful and intimate--and thus more threatening to many--than a simple bear hug.

When our animals offer facial contact with us, we humans tend to cherish the moment. It's a priceless experience holding your face still as a well loved horse comes up to you and gently nuzzles your cheek. We exchange breaths with our horses, actually exhaling into their nostrils as they inhale our scent. What transpires is deep trust and acceptance. Two beings, united by energy and love. We know that the horse could whip our head off with one erratic move of his own, and yet we take the chance because that moment of sharing is so worth it.

Having a dog totally relax with his or her face touching your own is one of those little life experiences that are free yet priceless. Even though we can't breathe, can't stretch, can't move, and can't scratch the itch because we don't want to disturb the sweet little being that's tenderly smothering us...the discomfort seems tolerable, and even worth it.

Maybe we have these animals in our lives so we can express and experience the tender intimacies that, for some reason, are so difficult for us to express to our own kind!

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