One evening while I was lounging in a chair in my living room, my eyes rested on Angel who was snoozing in a dog bed across the room.
As I melted into my oversize chair, I mentally processed the resemblance of my oversize dog with her head hanging over the edge of her oversize bed, gently snoring with her nose resting on the carpet.
I thought, she looked like a slice of cheese, placed upon a slice of bread and toasted like a grilled cheese sandwich. Her head looked like melted cheese dripping down the side of the crust to the frying pan.
A grilled cheese, one of the all-time favourite comfort foods, reflected the comfort both she and I felt at that moment in time.
It was a chilly night outside. We were inside, me nestled under a throw blanket in my big chair, and Angel nestled in her big bed with fleece blankets. She was flanked in her bed by some of her beloved stuffed toys.
I looked around us in the room and smiled over the many framed images of her and my other pets. The walls also display my artwork of them. We were together, warm, peaceful and loved.
Angel is my comfort, I am her comfort and ironically the grilled cheese sandwich was ranked America’s favourite comfort food in an April 2017 Ranker poll.
Comfort foods provide consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically those associated with childhood or home cooking.
Angel has brought me a sense of well-being and comfort since she entered my life in 2017 as a senior rescue. She was on death row. I had just lost my previous dog to cancer while fighting my own cancer (breast cancer). Angel and I met by fate at a shelter and she quickly blossomed from having a shy and sad demeanour into a smiling, relaxed creature.
While Angel brings me contentment, I have also decorated my home with warmth and happiness in mind. Interior design experts encourage us to surround ourselves with things that bring us comfort and joy. My home is just that – a haven of pet-themed art, photos of my pets, their toys and warm beds.
Experts also say that watching a dog sleep brings a person peace.
Like people, dogs need to feel safe and comfortable in order to sleep well, according to a story at TheBark.com
Dogs that sleep on their sides (like Angel in her melted-cheese-slice position) indicate that they are comfortable in their surroundings and experience a restful sleep, according to a story at dogsbestlife.com
At night Angel sleeps in my bed beside me. While I’m awake, she follows me around the house and rests in one of three big beds.
Time and again I find her sprawled across a dog bed with her head draped over the side in this same grilled cheese-like manner.
I’m humbled by the fact that she is so peaceful.
Angel’s peace also brings me peace. More than 40 percent of people who sleep with their dogs, according to TheBark.com story reported that having their dog beside them improved their sleep. Their furry bodies provide warmth, contentment and relaxation.
Eating a warm grilled cheese soothes and fills the stomach. Watching Angel sleep like a grilled cheese soothes my heart and mind. I bring her comfort, she brings me comfort and the warmth around us at home makes our hearts feel full.
Tracy Ahrens is a veteran journalist, author, artist and mom to three rescued cats and one dog. See her web site at www.tracyahrens.weebly.com and add her children’s book, “Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight,” to your collection. All proceeds help 10 humane organizations.