There ought to be a dictionary entry under the word love that reads: Hamish. (a.k.a. Cat’s dog)
What the world needs now: A whole lot o’ Hamish-love.
He will be in your peripheral vision at all times, will glance over just to make sure you are breathing and still in his field of sight. He will follow you, even at a respectful distance, to ensure that you don’t leave without him, that you don’t fall and hurt yourself. He will follow you into every room of the house – except the bathroom, because he intuitively (or learned to) respects your privacy.
He will wait patiently while his alter-ego, Kalypso upstages him with a prance around the room, yelping for her food, then follow on your heels as you reach for his dish and place it on the floor far from the paws of Ms dancing dog.
He will crook his head slightly, a sign that, well, you know what I want, don’t you? He will nudge your arm/your head/your leg with his nose until you yield and offer up a healthy dose of ruffling up his hair. While he dozes, he will gladly let you lie on him, beside him, underneath him, around him. If you should shift even an inch, he will perk up, wonder what the sudden movement is all about.
He is tip-toe quiet most of the time. But if the earth should shake below (I swear it did a few times), or if he smells real danger, you can rest assured that he will bark up a storm to guard you.
He will lie in the doorway of your bedroom, as if protecting you from the spirits of the night. He will curl up beside your bed once he is certain you’re tucked in. He will stir only briefly when you awake to go to the bathroom. But if you should happen to be sick and overstay your trip to the toilet, he will sense your absence and wander off to check on you. If you happen to be keeled over, weak and immobilized, he will lie on top of your toes and lick you all over until you have revived enough to walk back to bed.
It won’t take you long to realize that a dog with a history like his, takes nothing for granted. Not love, not attention, not safety. He will likely crave it – and dish it out to others – until his dying days – because he knows how lucky he was to be spared, to be delivered to a safe and loving home, to be fed and cared for.
And if you should ever find yourself on the receiving end of Hamish’s love, you will know precisely of what I write.
In the Yiddish language, Hamish (alternately spelled Haymishe) means homey or cozy. Which is exactly what this one-of-a-kind four-legged creature proved to be; a haymishe hound, showering me with love, and transforming a house into a home.