Since I have a house full of creatures, let me start there. Guilty dogs…you’ve seen it, you’ve probably caused it by catching them in the act of “Bad Dog!” behavior. Suddenly, a guilty dog becomes absorbed in staring at a spot far away from the eyes of the lecturing human. The tail tucks, the ears curl inward.
My friend shared the story of her dog who thought she got away with raiding the garbage can and eating a container of Cool Whip. Little did the perky pup know that her black muzzle betrayed her crime, and once her error was pointed out all the fun flew out of the moment.
Here’s another animal moment: peppy little Feral Will loves the crabby calico. We enjoy the displays of affection offered and rebuffed. Picture Pepe Le Pew and his casual yet obsessive pursuit of a lovely female, and then picture the lovely female running frantically from him, and you’ve got a good idea of which I speak. Then add the sudden stop, turn and bristle of a cat “that’s had enough thank-you-very-much!” Ears back, mouth open in a Joker-style grimace, tail four times its natural size and a sideways tip-toe skitter.
But my favorite non-verbals are people expressions. These are the ones I collect and hang onto in my memory banks.
Squeezed-tight eyes, hand over chest, other hand fanning face, laughter.
Open mouth, dropped jaw, a twitch of a smile …and mental gears creaking as a response is formulated.
Dawning understanding -- when mental and emotional light bulbs flick on, lighting eyes and dark corners of a room.
Long blinks, lolling head, deep-breathing, stretches, with the occasional jerk to stay awake.
And my all time favorite. The one Rob gave me as we parted this morning. I’d said something witty and turned to look back at him. He grinned, and the twinkle in his eye told me that -- yep, not only does he get me -- He likes me.
Now that’s what I’m talking about.