In case you missed it, August 26th was National Dog Day. It was founded to draw attention to the wonderfulness of dog ownership, but you already know how wonderful your dog is, don’t you?

You are already aware of how his cold nose to your bare foot dangling off the bed kick-starts your day.

You are already appreciative of how your dog brings fun to the chore of leaf and pine needle cleanup by jumping into the piles so the game can continue.

You love how your dog insists on long walks in sideways snow or pouring rain. He knows you think it is adorable how he waits until he’s safely inside before shaking his wet fur.

You can honestly say that hefting 50-pound bags of dog food over your shoulder has helped keep you fit, just like it helps when you have to wrestle him into the bath.

You adore his eagerness to join in the conversation when you are on the phone. It’s a shame that neither you nor the caller understand dog-speak.

Your ear is trained to listen for the jingle-jangle of tags or the thump-thump-thump of an insistent tail hitting the wall, especially when you’re sound asleep. That good dog is telling you it’s time to go out. NOW!

You love the exciting way your dog loves to mix it up: transforming a docile walk around the neighborhood on leash to a jolt-and-run chase at breakneck speed at the sighting of a squirrel.

You know you can count on him to help you get to the bottom of whatever you tried to bury in that pot under those flowers yesterday. Hide-and-seek is a multi-day game and he is keen to play.

You are amazed at your dog’s spatial awareness. He can look at a Dachshund-sized space left on the couch and instinctively know that his Labrador-sized self will fit into it. He will prove it every time.

You admire his capacity for seeking out the smelliest puddle or the one spot of grass where a dead thing is decaying as the best place to roll around.

You know you can count on your dog to commiserate with you about the hot weather—up close by panting his extra hot breath all over you.

You love his culinary adventurousness. No food combination is off limits and he has proved that dirt goes with everything.

It has not escaped your notice that your dog is incredibly handy around the house for cleaning up. Have a toddler who is learning to feed herself? Cheerios and bits of peanut butter sandwich left on the floor and highchair? Have no fear—Hoover Dog to the rescue. Before you can turn around, the mess will be hoovered up without a trace. Even tough foods burned to the bottom of a pan are no match. You can count on your dog to unstick every last bit. His tenacity is laudable. It’s the same with prewashing. Never mind scrubbing off the plates—just leave the dishwasher door open and he’ll make sure those plates are free of spaghetti sauce, grease and whatever else might be glued to the surface. Good Dog!

Your dog is intuitive. He seems to know when you need to stop watching television and go outside to play. He makes it known by dropping a slobbery tennis ball on your foot, which you cannot ignore, despite the tie in the fourth quarter.

You love how your dog keeps your good health in mind as he’s eager to beg for things you shouldn’t be eating anyway. Say goodbye to the part of that hamburger you don’t need, or fried chicken. If you’re slow to get the hint, he will remind you by drooling on your shoes. Plus, the more people-food snacks your dog eats, the more opportunities that are created for him to test your sense of smell. Then, he tests your reflexes by watching how quickly you can cover your nose and mouth with your t-shirt.

Perhaps the most important thing you know about your dog is that he instinctively knows how much you enjoy (and sometimes need) the happy greeting you get whenever you come home. It matters not if it’s an absence of five minutes or five hours, your arrival will spark the same happy treatment. And not just on National Dog Day. Your wonderful dog—that canine family member that you love with all your heart—will selflessly greet you with an awe-inspiring, enthusiastic welcome, complete with a whimpering, waggle-butt, tail-wagging display of pure love. And you know why, too. It’s because he is your dog and he loves you best. Good dog!