I’ve noticed that my dog, Penny, will really chow down when she’s happy. She brings me the ball, I throw it, she goes and eats. This repeats itself a few time throughout the night.
The other thing she’ll do is come over to my chair and put her head in my lap. I’ll stroke her head and pet her, then she’ll run off and eat.
I’ve realized that she just needs that little bit of attention; that little bit of my time that reinforces how I feel about her. That tells her that she’s loved and that I do, in fact, care about her.
It makes me feel sad that it took me this long to realize that. That just that little bit of affection can mean so much. For her, it’s the difference between feeling full, or going hungry. For me, it means having her around.