Because they’re our dog

Tomorrow Mr B turns 7, which in Great Dane years basically means he’s an old man. I love him so much it hurts sometimes, as he’s somehow bumbled his way deep into my heart where few have ever reached.

How do dogs do that?  They spend their lives sitting on our couch, trying to eat our food, destroying random things that don’t really matter but were, after all, ours not theirs.  They make us worry when they’re sick and make us sick when they’re pups, leaving little gifts in night when they just can’t hold it anymore.

And yet, they have this way of stealing our hearts.  Taking the parts of us that are most vulnerable, most guarded, and wrapping their little mucky paws around us.  Silently, they listen when no one else can, and sit with us when our world is overturned.  They look into our eyes when we can’t look into any one else’s, and they love us. They don’t care what we’ve done or not done, how much money we make or mistakes we’ve made. They love us through and through and want, more than anything else in the world, for us to know that.

Because we are their human, and they are our dog.

They spend every day waiting for us to come home so they can be near us.  It doesn’t matter much what we’re doing, as long as they can do it too.  They mope when we leave and cheer when we return.  They guard us as if every creature who walks past the door must know they cannot harm their precious human.

We are not always fair to them, yet they forgive and forget, never reminding us of any injustice, but only of their unchanging devotion and delight in who we are.

They slobber, and bark, and leave fur on our clothes.  But they find their way into our soul, never to be removed. They give us our greatest joy with their life and our deepest sorrow when they leave this world.  And they are worth every moment.

Because they’re our dog.

Happy birthday, dearest friend.