Nostalgia is comfort food for the soul. It is as present during the Holidays as are Christmas carols and tinsel. My awareness of how much I enjoy all this tradition got me to thinking as to why this might be.
I know I enjoy old Christmas carols, traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, vintage Christmas movies, and decorating the tree and house. What about you? What are your favorites?
What got me to thinking about this was an incident recently with Little jack Kerouac, our Texas Brown Dog, and his old, but lost collar. Trudy and I noticed one day that Jack was without his collar. Whether it came off in a tug-of-war with another dog, or whether i took it off to give him a good brushing and failed to put it back on, I cannot say. In any event, one day both we noticed that Jack stood naked without his Double T dog collar.
You see, our dogs after reaching an acceptable level of training and decorum receive their Texas Tech Double T collars. This is their reward from their proud human companions. The collar is distinctive with its red and black colors and signifies their graduation to full acceptance into our dog/human pack.
By the time Jack had he lost his collar, he been the proud owner of his Texas Tech collar already for several years. Now, I might have surmised that Jack would have found wearing his jingling collar an overall negative aspect. But I would have been wrong. Jack is quite the hunter of squirrels and armadillos, and I can’t believe his jingling collar makes his hunts any easier.
One day recently our ranch hand, Juan, found Jack’s lost collar and returned it to me. When later I held it up later for Jack to see, I was amazed at how excited he became. Jack must have been mourning his loss of his collar based on his reaction. Jack began to shake all over, as if having a rigor, and repeatedly jumped up and down. He became so excited he began to squeak! You would have thought we had just returned to claim him after a very long absence.
I then approached Jack for the purpose of placing his collar around his neck. Jack immediately stood as still as the Sphinx, and I carefully replaced his collar around his blotchy brown, furry neck. He developed his happy face- a look of satisfied contentment.
I suppose old and familiar objects and traditions provide joy and happiness for us all. As humans we have many examples that can provoke nostalgia. For dogs their possessions are limited with Jack’s collar being his only one. I don’t think Jack is materialistic, so much as he likes familiar objects and his people. His familiar pack and his collar provide him comfort. I think objects like an old dog collar may relate to interactions we have had with loved ones (pack-mates) which create the good feelings that are nostalgia. Nostalgic memories are, after all, only good memories, it seems to me. Nostalgic memories are like comfort food for the soul, be they for humans or dogs.
What do you think? Do you think your dogs are nostalgic? Are you? Would love to learn your experiences.
Wishing all readers of this blog the happiest of Holidays and a wonderful New Year. Along with your eggnog, I hope you enjoy lots of nostalgia and loving interactions this Holiday season.
Tagged: animal behavior, Comfort food for the soul, dogs, Happy Holidays, Little Jack Kerouac, Nostalgia, Nostalgia in dogs, Texas Tech Double T Collar
My first word was “light” and that is the thing that is most important to me still, especially the lights of Christmas or the morning sunrises. I love the quiet night with the other house lights off and the tree and mantel lights on. Having a glass of wine or hot tea and just enjoying the moment. My dogs are nostalgic about their blankets and beds. Loved this story about Little Jack.
The story certainly made me stop and think. I remember my mother making divinity candy, which I have never been able to duplicate. Another is the year my twin and I both got “bride” dolls, our vintage’s Barbies, complete with bridal costumes, tiny suits, skirts, blouses, and long red velvet coats. All theses were finished with hand sewn buttons, button holes, ruffles, and turned hems. Mother and our neighbor would often sit up after we had gone to bed (reluctantly) drink coffee, and gossip. It was then on many nights before Christmas that mother made the exquisite, tiny clothes. Great reminder, Tom, of what brings reminders of love and joy to us, and it seems to dogs as well.
Now you have done it by making me weepy. My 2 schnauzers, Rowdy & Scooter (now passed away) ALWAYS travelled with me in my Ford Expedition. They knew every inch and sound of that chariot that gave them endless adventures. After 15 years and rising gas prices, it was traded in for a car. Do not think they ever forgave me for that.