On Tuesday, I came home from being in Bali for three weeks. My brother came to pick me up at the airport, and I agreed that he should bring my dog Maddie with him. When he pulled up, I walked to the passenger side window and tapped on it. Maddie spun her head around and looked at me in disbelief. She turned and looked at my brother and then turned back to look at me. I moved to the back of the car to put my luggage in the trunk, and Maddie started to make the little howling noises and was squeaking with joy. By the time I opened the door to climb in, she was beside herself with happiness. I clambered in the car and pulled her onto my lap, and started to cry tears of joy.
After we pulled away from the passenger pickup area, and we're well on our way home, I noticed that Maddie is shaking uncontrollably. Shaking is not an uncommon behavior but is usually reserved for loud noises like thunder and fireworks. I was concerned since all was quiet and calm in the car. I checked in with Maddie and realized that the shaking was caused by intense emotion, not fear. Maddie was experiencing such joy that her body started to shake.
I noticed Maddie was staring at my brother as he was driving with the biggest grin on her face and a look of pure gratitude. When I checked in with her on this, I realized that she was so grateful for my brother for bringing her to come and get me. She saw him as being responsible for bringing me back into her life.
I was so thankful that I was able to check in with her to understand what she was going through. Often, when she starts to shake, I freak out, which adds to her anxiety. Being able to check in with Maddie, and find out what was going on was such a relief, and served to deepen our powerful relationship. Don't ever believe anyone who tells you animals don't experience emotions; their emotions are real, pure, and authentic.