I think of Woof when our dog, part Golden Retriever, would be sleeping beside the fireplace, when in a dream he would let out a muffled woof, head still laying on his paws. There was a certain deeper bond at those moments when I knew he was chasing something in a dream. There was this intimacy, to be there in a warm house, allowing him his safe space to dream.
You and your dog in front of the fireplace. You’re eating a hot apple pie with a scoop of super enriched vanilla ice cream. Your dog with his favorite dog cookie. The fire is snapping. There’s a snow storm outside, big flakes whipping past the windows.
All is peaceful. Your dog goes woof. Cocks his head, turns and goes woof again. You heard nothing. You know your dog heard something. You look in the direction he’s looking. You strain to hear…nothing. The woofs were soft. No need to feel concerned, yet you go back to the fire and hot apple pie. Suddenly, there’s a loud knock on the door. Your dog is barking now.
Woof means look here. Pay attention. Did you hear that?
You think, “No I didn’t hear a thing.”
Dog says, “I heard something.”
“I will continue to listen,” you think.
Dog thinks, “I will tell you again if I hear anything.”
There’s a lot communicated in a woof. As you live with, work with your dog, you learn the subtleties of this single word. You learn your responses to his super power hearing. You come to know and trust your dog’s early warning signals.
Then there is the woof when you’re on the trail. You’re moving along, he’s moving along, and he catches a scent and steps off the trail to sniff in the ferns. All you can see is back and tail moving through the understory. The Woof and its preciousness is when he discovers something. It’s a surprise. You know he’s surprised and it has perhaps spooked him a bit as he came nose to nose with some other creature hiding in the ferns, and you know neither one of them expected to encounter the other.
There’s barking. It’s loud, appears aggressive. Woof is almost dog’s inside voice, a dog whisper. Woof is a polite voice that says, “Did you see,” or, “This is interesting.” I think woof is endearing, woof is a polite indoor voice.
If you have a dog, you’re coming to know him or her. Your bond, your connection is as deep as any on Earth. Woof moments are a touching reminder of how close we are. How close we have become.
As a teenager, I remember a pond on our farm down in the middle of a field with steep grassy sloping sides. I would go down in the afternoon with my dog and sit on the grass on the hill and watch the wind riffle the surface of the pond, the sunlight catching on the wavelets and somehow knowing that at that moment we were in the midst of one of life’s great transcendent moments. The dog would “woof” translation, “This really is a nice day. I’m glad we came. Did you just see the wind riffle the surface?” There’s a lot said in a simple word like woof.
This is your dog thinking. This is your dog missing you. This is your dog waiting for you to come home. Your dog has no idea you have a Woof necklace. In spite of being clueless, they love you anyway.
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Our extended ninety days, for a small business, is almost unheard of. Truth is, we shop for gifts too, and rather than scrambling at the last minute and feeling the tension of time, we like this more relaxed approach. We wish everyone did something like this… it would be a kinder, gentler world.