Read a great piece about dogs by Clive Wynne, a dog behavior scientist. He admits to once being skeptical of dogs’ unique place in the animal world as uniquely sensitive to “human-like social cognition.” In his studies he wondered about the unique intelligence that enables dogs to play an irreplaceable role in the worlds of humans. Then he got a dog.

Eureka! Some dogs are intelligent, and some not so much. But, what they all possess is an amazing love for the people they live with. From the welcomes when you come home to the wrestling on the floor to gentle nudges given when they enter a room, dogs bond with us and express their affection directly. Love is their superpower, not some intellectual prowess.

I have had a dog in my life since I was six. When I was in my early and mid-20s I took various trips around the country with my 80# German and Australian shepherd, Chokma. We were inseparable. Many nights on the highways it was just the two of us. I can attest to the love I felt from him, day after day. There was not a lot of security for me in those days, except in his company. I recall sitting outside a McDonald’s once in West Virginia. I had a hamburger. He had a hamburger. Did he mind there was no house to return to that night? I don’t think so. He’d rather be with me.

Today, Sita keeps me company. That’s her up top. I am planning to enjoy some walks in the woods with her over the next few weeks.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, filled with love.

“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
— James Baldwin