1. When you’re sobbing or maybe just on the very edge of breaking into a weep, and she instinctively crawls over to you, plopping herself directly on your chest or collarbone, armed and ready to lick away the salty yumminess covering your cheeks. You’ve never felt more taken care of.
2. Not once, not twice, but several times, you’ve caught yourself wishing desperately you could just shoot her a quick text: “Hey! How’s your day?” “Hi, thinking of you. Love you so much.” The day dog-text technology is a reality, your life will be made.
3. All you want to do is protect her. Yes, bath time is the worst. But with every scrub, every rinse, every extra squeeze to ensure all the soap is gone, you use every last fiber of your being to communicate to her that she’s safe, this is good, and you’re her protector.
4. You count the number of moments you’ve endured, feeling the of frustration of knowing that your dog will never fully understand the true depths of your love for her nor hers for you, and you know that’s how it has to be, but it’s so tragically sad some days.
5. When they are a bit grown-up, but still choose to follow your every move around the house. She’s independent now; She could very easily blow you off and stay put on the couch or carpet or “her” chair, but she just cannot bear the idea of not knowing exactly what you’re doing at all times. So she follows you. And you love it.
6. Having a horrible, long, angering day, and pulling up to your home, knowing you will be greeted with nothing less than pure joy and borderline orgasmic excitement from your dog. She doesn’t care how bad your day was; She’s here to make it better and she can’t wait to do it, because that’s her job.
7. The first time you have to assist her with a stubborn bathroom situation by way of paper towels or plastic baggies or whatever’s closest (leaves have happened) – that’s love.
8. You’re fully dressed and ready for a night on the town, but she hasn’t eaten yet. You can tell she doesn’t want to, because she knows you’re leaving her for the night and is too sad to eat. So, down you go, sitting cross-legged on your dirty kitchen floor, just so you can feed her bits and pieces from your hand until she’s comfortable enough to eat on her own while you sit there and keep her company.
9. Sometimes, on a quiet weekend night in which you chose to stay home and out of trouble, when your pup is on your lap, all the feels happen. Her sense of safety and security are palpable through her tiny body, and you know she’d stay right here forever if you’d let her. Why do you ever go out again?
10. You’re constantly taken aback by her beauty. At least five times a week, you just look at her and exclaim: “God, you are so fucking beautiful!”
11. When it’s been an exceptionally rough week full of all work and no play, you feel impossibly heavy guilt that your dog has been subject to your ridiculous workload. She doesn’t know it, but you spend the rest of the week planning out an activity-filled Saturday morning for her and you, because she deserves some fun and you want her to have it.
12. Waking up and finding her curled up in the crook of your legs, or on top of your head on the pillow, and completely on her back, all legs in the air showing total vulnerability – you feel bad for dog owners who mistakenly don’t allow their dog in the bed.
13. Imagining years down the road, when perhaps you may need or want to get another dog, is virtually impossible. How will you be able to ever love something as much as this girl, right now? Does this connection really exist within another dog in another time? It seems unfathomable and the moments in which you catch yourself pondering the thought leave you breathless and ill.
14. When you catch her just sort of looking at you, and you guys lock eyes for what seems to be an hour, but is really only a few seconds before she smothers your entire face in kisses. You can’t blame her, though, because you love it. And her. Forever and ever and ever.