There are times in life that seem unbearably lonely; times when it's as though there's nobody a girl can trust with her heart, her soul, her troubles, or her triumphs -- it's like everyone is just waiting for her to become vulnerable and then take advantage of her when she's down. It's times like this when I'm glad I have a dog.
I've had my dog, Pepper, for eight or nine years now -- I lose track of the time, but it seems like he's always been with me. He rides along with me on most of my adventures unless it's too hot or too cold for him to sit in the pickup should I have to get out, and he gets shotgun -- rarely does he ride in the back. He likes to play tug of war with bailing twine, and he likes to run fast. He always gets gravy on his supper, and always half of my tater tots every time we go to Sonic. He sleeps next to my bed every single night on a fluffy pink (yes, pink) rug -- unless I'm having a bad night, then he sleeps next to me up on the bed. I swear my entire existence is covered in white dog hair. I don't mind.
He always seems to know how I'm feeling. When I'm having a bad day, he'll come put his head in my lap and lay there quietly while I fiddle with his ears and tell him my problems. When I'm having a good one, he's always down for a long walk somewhere to run and explore and see what we can see. His calm and quiet demeanor somehow manage to quell the anxiety in me when I feel a panic attack coming on...I've always joked that he should be able to go everywhere with me and save me the cost of my anti-anxiety medication. Sometimes he'll put his paw on my leg as if to say, "It's all okay, Mom. Just pet me and everything will be okay." And it always is.
I know there are some out there who don't understand the bond between a person and their dog (or horse, or any other pet for that matter). I don't understand those types. Studies have proven that owning a dog is actually good for the health of your heart, and I totally believe it. In my opinion, the love of a dog is like the love of God (is the spelling just a coincidence?). It's unconditional and ever-forgiving, and you are never alone with either -- or both -- by your side. Every single night when I go to sleep, I thank One for the other without fail.