Love is a warm dog sleeping at the end of the bed, and love is the human who changes his own sleeping position to accommodate the dog bent on hogging the covers.

Love is a gentle lick of the hand, especially when unsolicited. And love is the dog who gets so excited, he gently nips its human’s nose. Love is the dog that grabs its human’s hand in a soft-mouth embrace. It says, “I love you so, I’ll eat you up.” Love is the human who understands these antics as signs of affection.

Love is the dog that loses sleep when a baby is fussy because it is compelled to keep vigil until the problem is resolved. Love is also the dog that awakens the parents if they aren’t fast enough to react.

Love is the dog that doesn’t react when a toddler climbs all over it, regardless of how clumsily placed the feet or how painful the ear pulling might be. It seems to know that the toddler is too young to know any better. Love is incredible tolerance.

Love is the dog that accompanies its human to the bathroom. Likewise, love is the human who stands by patiently with a little bag waiting to pick up after their dog, regardless of the weather.

Love is the human who puts the needs of his dog before his own. This is the human who rushes home to make sure his dog gets a walk and a meal before he gets his own dinner.

Love is the dog that starts by slurping bathwater, thinking it to be the best kind of people soup, and gets so excited it jumps into the bathtub with its human. Love is the human who laughs amidst the water-slopped chaos.

Love is the dog that nurses its huge litter day and night, and love is the human who makes sure it gets some escape time every day away from its demanding brood.

Love is the way a dog follows its human from room-to-room and love is the human who appreciates it.

Love is the dog that puts itself between its people and harms way, for their sacrifice is rendered out of love. Love is the human who recognizes this dog as a hero.

Love is the expression of unbridled excitement from the dog when the human comes home at the end of the day. Love is the human who never fails to love up the dogs and give them the attention they deserve, no matter how tired he is.


Love is saving the last bite for the dogs, knowing it will make them happy. Love is turning the occasional blind eye to the picky child giving more than the last bite to the dog under the table.

Love is providing free licking service on the dishes as they are loaded in the dishwasher. It’s a slightly soapy but delicious sacrifice given freely by the dog.

Love is offering initial first aid on any scraped knee in the household brood. This is done with magical dog spit delivered with a soft tongue.

Love is sacrificing sleep in order to prowl from room-to-room in a large household to check on the entire family at night. No wonder it seems that dogs sleep all day—they haven’t slept a wink all night.

Love is snarling at suspicious characters who show up at the door—especially if they are bearing mail or pizza, or if they have the unbridled nerve to ring the doorbell.

Love is giving all visitors a thorough sniffing—just to make sure they don’t smell like familiar disreputable types. Dogs have long memories. Love is recognizing the inherent wisdom of a dog’s instincts.

Love is making sure to be right in the middle of every activity. And love is making allowances knowing that the dog is not intentionally underfoot, but rather a dedicated participant in all things related to family.

Love is getting blinky and making imploring looks toward humans who are upset. They’d rather put themselves in harm’s way than bear any anger or upset from their humans.

Love is hurdling any obstacle to offer emotional support to a crying human. A dog will jump over a dog gate if their human is in need, despite a sore hip or arthritis. Where their humans are concerned, dogs become superheroes.

Love is sticking by an elderly dog, despite the inherent challenges. Love is the look of gratitude on an old dog’s face, expressions in the old eyes and wag of the tail.

Love is appreciating every gray whisker and sore joint that is the mark of the elderly canine companion. Love is marked by every memory of their frisky youth and silly puppy antics. Love is renewed by tender care, patience and kindness toward the old dog until the very end.

Love is found in the bond between a dog and its human companion, and this love is quite simply beautiful in every way that counts.