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My dog and I were snuggled together this evening on the couch, and it was all her idea, too. She jumped up and insinuated herself into my space acting like it was perfectly reasonable to put twenty-three pounds of dog in the open three-inch square of sofa in front of me. She even had her paw draped around me in a hug. The whole thing had me feeling rather important and quite loved, fueled no doubt by the others present who seemed a little jealous of the whole thing.

I can’t even imagine what kind of relationship we’d have if my dog could talk. The fact that she never ever says a word makes it easy to imagine the best even when she might be thinking the worst. For all I know she’s a real bitch and has a snide thought at everything I say. After all I smother her with love and caresses and silliness so often she’s got to be sick of it by now. But I never hear about it, and in fact, as a result I am never deterred from slathering her with even more of my exaggerated love.

When I was little we always had a dog in the house. Anytime I wanted I could get the dog alone with me and tell her my secrets, and she never once told a soul. That’s why I love every dog I’ve ever had. They can be a lot of work but not when you compare that to the emotional security they provide to kids in their unspoken ways.

When I left home and stepped out into the world to start college my parting kiss was not with my parents, they weren’t into that kind of thing, but instead it was with my dog. Thank you, pup.