Dog lovers, unite! Today is the day we unabashedly celebrate the most important dogs in our lives, National Dog Day 2017.
When Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned her eloquently poignant Sonnet 43, I personally believe she was writing an ode to her beloved dog.
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
Now that I think about, maybe the astounding poet was writing in the voice of her precious canine companion. For it seems that nothing and no one on earth can proclaim their everlasting love better than a dog.
Who else is waiting to greet you, no matter what mood you’re in? Who is more loyal, more eager to be near you than your dog? A wise Twitter user once said, “When life gets ruff, get a dog.” Words to live by, my friends.
For me, my days begin and end with twin goldendoodles. The brothers, who have never been separated, have only days ago marked their one-year-old status. They’ve proven more reliable than any alarm clock. And they remind the household of “last call” just in time for bed.
As the “wondertwins” keep our kiddos in check and get the family outside for a rowdy game of frisbee, I’m reminded of childhood furry friends that made a difference in my life.
Our first dog, Happy, was long awaited. When she walked into the living room on Christmas morning, my brothers and sister and I burst into tears. Our dream of owning a dog had finally come true.
My dog Steinway, a black and white cocker-spaniel mix, named after my affinity for pianos, saw me through my first apartment and made sure I couldn’t sleep-in on the weekends.
Perhaps the matriarch of my dog world, the GOAT as my boys would say, is Macy Grace. The black lab, who lives on a small farm, was adopted as an infant. She took to her new home as if she had been born for a life surrounded by sweet corn and soybeans.
Macy, who may actually believe she’s human, has never met a child she didn’t love. And thanks to Macy’s tender care, even the most skiddish of toddlers have become dog lovers.
My daughter was not quite two-years-old when she first met Macy. She was terrified of dogs, screaming if she saw a tiny maltese, shaking with terror if she crossed paths with a datschund. But all of that changed when a kindly, brown-eyed black lab named Macy Grace introduced herself.
At first my daughter did her usual routine of clinging to me while wailing as if she were in severe pain. Then, something happened. Something I had never dared to dream could happen – as Macy gently touched her nose to my daughter’s arm, the frightened toddler smiled.
In fact, in less than a couple of hours, my little darling was snuggling up with Macy in her dog bed! This was life-changing. Macy’s magic had helped my daughter overcome a fear that could have easily turned into a lifelong phobia.
Since then, we’ve visited Macy many, many times. We actually refer to her as our twins’ Granny Macy, since the old girl has grayed around her face and passed her 13th birthday. She walks a little slower, with her hips noticeably rocking back and forth, but the twinkle has never left her soft brown eyes.
She still greets wary toddlers and endures endless hugs around her neck, except now she’s indulged with a piece of bacon, or a nibble of gravy every so often. She doesn’t chase after rabbits, but she watches them scamper, maybe reminiscing of the days when she nimble enough to nab them.
Today, as you go about National Dog Day, and your normal Saturday routine, paws for a moment and think about how a dog has impacted your life. Maybe you could write the next sonnet? My daughter has begun one:
“How do I love Macy? Let me count the ways…”