Ask for Nurturing – Good for the Dog; Good for You

Honey Asks for Nurturing

Honey has been a little clingy lately. It happens sometimes after we send a foster dog home.

When I sit on the couch, Honey rests her head on my knee. When I get down on the floor to sort laundry, she comes in close for a hug. And when I go to the basement, her least favorite part of the house, she follows to keep an eye on me.

Honey the golden retriever needs nurturing after foster dog Ginny goes home.

So when are you going home already?

I don’t know if she’s missing her playmate, our foster dog Ginny, or if she’s just making up for sharing our affections.

Either way, she needs a little nurturing. And she’s not afraid to ask for it.

Hard to Ask for Nurturing

I hate to ask for help.

How much?

Once, after giving blood, I started to pass out on a city bus. It was rush hour and I was standing. Even as I felt myself losing consciousness, I couldn’t bring myself to ask anyone for a seat.

Instead, I signalled for a stop and managed to stumble down the steps despite having totally blacked out. Once I recovered myself, I walked eight blocks home. Yep, stupid.

I need to take a lesson from Honey and ask for what I need.

Honey the golden retriever chews on a huge stick.

Hold on a minute. I’m not finished with my pacifier, I mean, my big, fierce stick.

From Nurturer to Nurtured

I’m not the only person who has this problem. Luckily I do live with someone who is a willing nurturer.

No, not Honey. She doesn’t care if I have a fever and have been projectile vomiting for two days. When she needs to play in the snow, she needs to play in the snow.

Honey the golden retriever cuddles with her person.

You think I’m clingy? He’s the one always petting and cuddling me.

I’m talking about my husband. But I have to ask for what I need.

Young, married women (including myself, years ago) say, “If he really loved me, I wouldn’t have to ask.”

Malarkey. Do you expect your dog to know what you want from him without asking him? Well then treat your husband with as much respect as your dog. Ask for the nurturing you need.

What Honey Needs

Honey doesn’t know it yet, but some friends of hers are coming to stay with us for a while. Remember Mr. Handsome and his sister, Li’l Punkin Butt? They’ll be visiting until the end of the month.

Mr. Handsome the chocolate lab plays with Lil Punkin Butt the Boston terrier.

Mr. Handsome and Li’l Punkin Butt show off their superior play skills.

For a while, she’ll be too busy playing and scrambling for a seat on the couch to need much nurturing from me. But when they go home, my fuzzy little girl will be back looking for nurturing care.

How will I know? Because she’ll ask me. And asking for the nurturing we need is good for my dog. It’s also good for me.

Your Turn: Are you good at asking for the nurturing you need? How about your dog? How does your dog tell you he needs extra TLC?

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  1. Like you – I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older, now it’s easy. Jack also finds it easy – as a matter of fact, every night after dinner he has a quota of nurturing from each of us to fulfill. Maggie has yet to ask…she still not quite certain about the whole thing, but I’m hoping one day she will know that she can get it just by asking.

  2. Sometimes I think Sadie is asking for more nurturing when she lays her head on me and stares….then I realize she just has to poop. 🙂

  3. I think asking is the least of my worries – I have no problem being blunt. It’s the acknowledging part – the first step – that is my blind spot. Delusional, cocky, dead-inside, stubborn – whatever you call it, I can be guilty of all of them, but I’m generally unwilling to even consider I might want to ask for help. I’m getting better at acknowledging my own deficiencies in this area, but independence and self-sufficiency have negative sides, too. The Husband has uttered more than once “why didn’t you ask for help, dummy?” and the answer usually is “I didn’t think I needed any!”
    Love the snowy picture of Honey and her stick!

  4. Wow, dog and husband advice, and both on the money!

  5. I am the WORST for asking for what I need. I’ve always been very independent and even as a small child, I was certain that I COULD DO IT MYSLEF *insert high pitched angry squeal*. That attitude, while very effective at getting sh*t done most of the time, it utterly useless when what I need is a hug.

  6. Mom is terrible at asking for help or nurturing, but us dogs are great at it. Especially Bailie and I, we go to Mom and give her our secret hug signal and we just hug for a while. Katie sometimes finds Mom and sticks her head in her lap signaling the need for a snuggle.

  7. As I’ve gotten older, it’s become easier to ask for help. I only ask when it is really needed, though. Maya and Pierson have no trouble asking for things, whether it be to go outside, have some treats, play, or go for a walk. I’m glad I’m so needed! 🙂

  8. It is very very true that we need to learn how to ask for help. It is something I am no good at!

  9. That is a really good point. And yes, I’ve never been shy about asking for the nurturing I need..from dogs or humans. Fortunately the dogs are usually happy to comply and Florian is very indulgent of my clinginess as well.

    So sweet that Honey enjoys the fosters.

  10. Nope. I suck at asking for help. Suck. The dogs, though? Not so much. Lucas sets his big face in my lap or paws my leg. Cooper climbs on my lap and nestles his face under my arm. Emmett sits and stares at me and huffs these huge, mournful sighs. They know how to ask for what they want! I need to take (yet another) lesson from them, for sure!