The Love of a Dog
Most mornings, my 140 lb pup throws her front legs on my bed and if my back faces her, she’ll give me a not so gentle poke with her nose. If I’m toward her, she’ll wash my face with kisses, tale wagging furiously the whole time. It may not be the most hygienic way to start a day, but it certainly says I love you.
Like others, I spend my day rushing from home to work, running errands, keeping business appointments, medical appointments, continuously making decisions. I worry about my kids, the environment, my mortgage, my aging relatives and the stressful world we live in. Throughout it all, my girl at home understands none of this. I may not consciously think of her during the day, but there is comfort in knowing that at the end of my day, she is there, full of joy and waiting for her people to share time with her. She is the retreat that keeps me going. She watches me and when I watch her, she thumps her tail and I can almost hear her whisper “I love you.”
When my girl passes from my life, I will feel immeasurable grief and I’ll question whether I can bear this pain again. But I’ve answered this question before and I know I’ll bring another pup into our family. I’ll train her, she’ll train me, and I’ll tell her stories about all of her predecessors. I will compare the new family member to past members and wonder if she’ll measure up, until one day she’ll do something to surprise me and she too will become the refuge that I seek at the end of everyday life. It may be simple, it may be trite, but I believe in the love of a dog.
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