I have trust issues. There. I admitted it. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve known that I could always count on one human: me. It taught me to be highly capable and independent, and ingrained in me the motto, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” But I also learned that I could count on and trust dogs. Which explains why I filled my life with them; really, many species of animals, but dogs in particular. Here’s why:

—Dogs bask in the joy of simply living.

—Dogs greet you as if you have been gone forever even if you’ve only been in another room for a few hours folding laundry.

—Dogs never complain or whine about things.

—Dogs never judge you… how you look or what you believe. 

—Dogs don’t hold grudges.

—Dogs love fiercely and unconditionally. 

—Dogs know when you are sad and upset and instinctively try to console you.

—Dogs protect you (with the exception of toy poodles maybe… hahaha).

—Dogs are loyal (at least where treats are not involved).

—Dogs don’t argue or yell.

This list is not at all comprehensive, but it signifies some of the most important reasons I have found dogs to be superior to humans quite often throughout my life. However, if you read our feature story on aging this month (page 26), it will reveal the potential shortcoming that can arise from trusting only oneself or animals. Independence, self-reliance and less drama from having fewer people in your life has a flip side: Who will be there to take care of you when your aging body starts to fail you? As much as dogs can do for you, they can’t feed you or nurse you when you are sick or so frail that you can no longer care for yourself. So, as the decades pass, I have had to amend my thinking and learn to trust a human or two. But dogs will always have my unequivocal faith and loyalty.