I don’t know how common this is, but Gibson uses his front paws the same way you and I use our arms. He doesn’t set his paws onto my lap but wraps them around my hips in an embrace, or loops them around a calf to grasp me, literally holding on. When he is scared he wants to be close because he doesn’t understand; but he knows that so far every time he was confused by sky violence he made it through if he was close to me.
I believe in tough love when it comes to primates. I don’t believe in it when it comes to canines. I’ll ignore a person to teach them a lesson, but if a dog asks, I am already hugging back. And through the wind and hail, the thunder and lightening, I held that dog. I felt his breathing go from rapid to calm. I watched him fall asleep in my arms from the exhaustion of panic. I know that transition far too well. He's such a complicated and beautiful thing, but he gets so confused by the noise. He just wants to know he will be okay, and he'll accept the lie of a hug if it gets him through twenty minutes. That's addiction culture in a nutshell.
That's love in a nutshell.