My favorite nickname for any dog I meet is an enthusiastic “Dog face!” (Works equally well for cats — “Cat face!”) I am not exactly sure what it means, except perhaps the excited surprise of meeting a dog who is guaranteed to become my new best friend (well, not always, but dogs have been known to follow me around). “Ah! I didn’t expect to find a dog here! Here you are, with your face and everything! Dog face!” They seem to like it, too.
When I found this video, it instantly touched my heart. An employee at a dog-boarding kennel decided to film the expressions of 58 dogs as they coped with temporary separation from their families. According to the filmmaker, some of the dogs barked nonstop, some were calm, some were happy and amiable, and others were sad. No matter how the dogs reacted to their stays at the kennel, the filmmaker was similarly moved by the deep love she saw in their eyes.
So today, when you look into your pup’s eyes and you see her profound devotion staring back at you, give her a big old bear hug and a delicious snack, because dogs love us no matter who we are, with our faults and our fabulousness. To be the people dogs believe us to be, it’s important to turn that unconditional love inward toward ourselves as well.