Whenever I am upset, my dog knows. Even if I do not show it he knows. He will come and lay near me, his huge, heavy, black head resting on my foot, the contact comforting. His loving eyes follow me where ever I go, loving me unconditionally. He trust that when he is hurt I will fix it, when he is hungry I will feed him, let him out when he has to go out, and take him for a ride in the car.
All I have to do is say, "Do you want to go for a ride?", and he quivers with anxiousness, leash in his mouth. Or maybe I might say,"Do you want to go swimming?", he's at the back door, floating toy clutched between huge teeth, squeaking that toy for all he's worth. I ask if he wants to eat, and he will bring me his dish. Tell him to get up on the bed, he's there. He is so smart it's scary. It's almost like he is a reincarnated human.
He loves cats and has a healthy respect for their claws, but when he sees one in the yard he will chase it. He especially loves little dogs, and when he is too overpowering and they let him know, he backs away. He will not fight with other dogs, he is a pacifist.
When I cry, he comforts me. He tries to give me a toy, that ought to do it. And if nothing else works he kisses me and gives me doggy hugs. It's that real love that I see in his adoring eyes, and I love him back, more than anything. Sometimes more then that husband who might have made me cry. He's the baby I never had. If anyone had told me my children would be huge German Shepherds, I'd have laughed. But there it is, he's the best friend I've got. He loves me no matter how bad I look, no matter how dumb I might sound, no matter what mistakes I make. He loves me, he is devoted to me, and I love him. The saddest part of the whole thing is that I will outlive him, just like I have his predecessors.
But for me I'll take that pain and live with it. The alternative is unthinkable.
I just hope that when I die, I have been as good as he has, so that I can see him, and all the others, in heaven. That has to be where he will go and I want to meet the pack I have lost someday.
Now that would be heaven wouldn't it?