Silent devoted companionship
“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”
— Doris Day
If you’ve ever had a canine friend, you know what Day meant. There is something about the friendship between humans and dogs that defies comparison to anything else.
I’ve found that many of my fellow dog lovers are also fond of animals in general, but most of us will admit that our dogs fill a gap that can’t be filled by any other animal, or even any human. Their instinctive awareness of our moods, their unconditional devotion and their (mostly) silent presence in good times and bad quickly become part of our lives to the point that we can scarcely remember what our days were like without them.
Unlike a lot of people, dogs seem to be even more drawn to us in times when we are sad or distressed. They don’t offer solutions or advice, but they do communicate understanding and concern. They stay beside us, letting us know that whatever else is going on, their loyalty is unchanged and unchanging.
Many of you know that our beloved dog Pasha died less than a year after Jeff’s diagnosis. He had been with us more than sixteen years, and we still miss him. When our lives settle down enough to ensure that we will have the time and stamina required, we plan to adopt another puppy. Meanwhile, I enjoy other people’s dogs, who brighten my walks and make our neighborhoods fun places to be.
If you are “between dogs” as we are, or can’t have a pup for other reasons, I hope you are able to experience some of their benefits through friends and family whose households include a canine or two. To those of you whose homes are blessed with the cheerful chores that go with having a resident pooch, please accept my thanks for the vicarious joy I get from seeing and hearing about your furry friends.