I know in the past I have written about my love for my dog in no uncertain terms. Penny is the first being I see after a day of work. She follows me around the house and listens cheerfully to my humanoid ramblings, her head tilt in anticipation, her eyes following my movements as I make dinner or do the laundry. The few times she's gotten sick she's come to my side and pressed the weight of her body to my torso, her eyes looking directly into mine, wanting to know, yes, it's going to be alright. She's also done this when I was sick, or crying. I've found myself saying, "It's okay, Penny, I'm fine, it was just a sad movie" more times than I can count. I love teasing her with, "Where's daddy?!" as she runs to the dining room windows in hopes of seeing Matthew pulling up the drive. When she finally does spot him she sweetly howls in excitement.
She has also made a dog (or one dog) lover out of Matthew. The few times Penny ate something that didn't agree with her, she would remain in the yard for fear of vomiting in the house again. He'd be out there with her telling her that she'd be okay, and to take a sip of water as he stroked her backside. They would sit there together, him with his legs crossed, and her on her side, in the long grass.
I fully believe in the therapeutic advantages in being a dog owner, and I believe these animals, no matter in the home or at work, want to serve us. It's very humbling as I sit at Penn Station waiting for my train and the K-9 Amtrak units walk back and forth, with a German Sheppard or a Lab in tow. It's also very reassuring. (Introduce me to a cat who can do that.)
Here is a story my mom sent me about Ella, an incredible Rottweiler and companion. You needn't be a dog lover to appreciate the story, but I challenge you to not be one after you finish.
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