Loyal Love

. . . is the love of a dog.

A dog who knows that whenever you are asleep on the couch in the early morning hours after getting up to take him out–which always seems to be 20 minutes before your alarm is set to go off–to play on his own for a while, or to even lay down beside the couch, chewing on a beloved toy or perhaps sleeping some more himself.

A dog who whines with anticipation upon the arrival of any family member coming home. A dog who sometimes gets so excited he’ll zoom across the house, butt low to the ground in a “boot scoot,” celebrating the return of his family.

A dog who paws at you whenever you’re sitting next to him but not petting him.

A dog who looks up at you with eyes the same color as yours that brim with unconditional, indescribable, incomparable love.

A dog who lays beside you every night, cozying up near your leg or by your head. Who will cuddle with you in the morning because you’re both still sleepy.

A dog who climbs into your lap for no other reason than he wants to have personal contact with you while chewing on his favorite toy–and continues to do so no matter how big he gets.

A dog who will whine at any closed door that stands between him and you.

A dog who will fall asleep at your feet and underneath your desk while you work and study.

A dog who will fall asleep in the bathroom waiting for you to get out of the shower.

A dog who runs around corners trying to find you whenever you play a combination of fetch and hide and seek.

A dog who will look up at you with bright eyes while a toy or towel dangles from his mouth, beckoning you to commence his favorite game of chase around the couch.

A dog who waits for you to come home every day, and is just so unconditionally happy to see you–happy that you returned home.

I have never known a love quite like it . . .

and I don’t think I ever will know a love as unconditionally embracing

as the loyal love of a dog.

And I can’t help but constantly wonder

at how undeserving we are of their great, loyal love.

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