Funny how a four-legged friend really makes you smile

Today, while my wife and I were out for our morning walk, we encountered two very welcoming women walking a black and copper colored little dog.

The one year old pup was a Yorkshire terrier named Dolly – and she was one of the most docile and affectionate little pups I’ve encountered in a long time. She immediately approached both my wife and I with a refreshing timidity – far too many dogs are only too quick to use repetitive barking to establish their dominance. But it wasn’t long before Dolly began wagging her stubby little tail – relishing the turns my wife and I were taking petting her silky smooth fur.

We soon found out that the pup had only been in her new home for a week – her owner feeling blessed that her and Dolly bonded together in such a short period of time. It turns out that she just lost her dog a few weeks ago, and while she thought she might be able to live without the furry companion, she soon realized just how much having a four legged friend around meant to her.

I think non-animal lovers sometimes forget the important role an animal can play in a person’s life. They’re constant companions for those living alone – a bright spot in an otherwise lonely existence. In this crazy world we live in, sometimes the simple wag of a tail makes you realize that while the human race is losing the battle for peace and love, those closer to the ground already seem to know how to get it right.

I grew up with a pup just like Dolly and can tell you she was an amazing animal. She had a personality one might never expect from an animal. No matter what kind of day you were having, just the sight of that little dog running to greet you at the front door was enough to make you smile.

Animals don’t judge or criticize you the way humans do. They don’t care about your material possessions, your popularity in society, your career choices or how much weight you gain. All they ask for is unconditional love, food and water in their bowls, and maybe tossing around a squeaky toy every now and then.

It’s a relationship I miss at times, which is probably incomprehensible to those who’ve never experienced the love of an animal before. Little Dolly reminded me of that bond between man and his four legged friends and I hope to run into her again one morning.

Lord Byron, the English Romantic poet, had the following statement inscribed upon the gravestone of his beloved Newfoundland: “Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices.”