Relationships

An Open Letter to Dogs

An Open Letter to Dogs

Dear dogs,

Hi. I know you can’t read, but maybe a nice human can read this to you… If you’re lucky, maybe they can read it to you using funny voices. I know you’d appreciate that, the way you appreciate most things. Never change.

First off, can we talk about your tail? I’ve spent more time than is reasonable thinking about it. Wagging = joyful. Floppy = deflated. Standing at attention = do not F with me right now. So direct, yet poetic.

I maintain that the world would be a better place if humans came with similar mood barometers. We’d never get away with lying. We’d never get away with withholding our emotions. Related: If only politicians had tails.

Thank you, dogs, for showing me how exciting the world is. That bug walking across the floor, upon closer inspection, actually is quite fascinating. And the wind, that frustrating invisible nuisance. Where does it come from? Why can’t we make it stop? Don’t even get me started on the ball. HOW DOES IT ROLL? MAKE IT HAPPEN AGAIN. The world is full of witchcraft.

Thank you for reacting to my arrival like it is Christmas all the time. Even when I’ve only been gone for like five minutes. Even when I’ve just been in the other room. No one has ever been this excited to see me. Your boundless enthusiasm is just one of the reasons I love you.

We may not speak the same language, but our connection is deeper than that. Who needs words when you can see my soul? It is said that the mark of a good relationship is when you can just be together, enjoying each other’s company without feeling the need to fill the silence. So, it stands to reason that our relationship is kind of the best.

Many are the times with people — at a party or an event or whenever there’s an awkward conversational pause — when I think, “Why can’t you be more like my dog?” Or even, “Why can’t you be my dog?” Then I return home and you don’t expect anything from me and the world is okay again.

My heart swells and breaks every time you look at me with your eyes that resemble the oversized buttons on a vintage cardigan. Sometimes, I am certain you’ve unlocked the mysteries of the universe. Then you’ll eat some dirt from a potted plant and I have to rethink everything. Are you just trying to throw me off? Are you just doing that to appear humble? I really wonder.

You are the only part of movies that consistently makes me cry. They can kill off the villain, or even most of the human characters, but they better not dare touch the dog.

There are fewer smells more comforting than when you are near — warm and pleasant, like gently used popcorn. There is no sound more melodic than claws-on-floor, especially when they are headed in from another room. There is no feeling better than the way you crash into my side, then slide down and curl up like a seashell, to get an aggressively close cuddle. As Charlie Brown said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.”

On weeks like this one (and many others before it), you are both a port and an escape. Thank you for pulling me out of myself. For inspiring me to talk in silly voices. For reminding me to be tender.

Overhearing conversations between people can be fun, but overhearing conversations between people and dogs is even better.

“Rufus. You’ve got to stop barking at tourists.”
“Is that a McMuffin in that bush? Don’t eat that. We don’t eat things we find in a bush.”
“Brian! Don’t snap at the little dog! How do you expect to make friends?”

My grandma used to say that God only got one thing wrong — dogs should’ve been able to talk. I think about this often, because I agree with this assessment. But that’s second on my list, after wishing you could live forever.

In the meantime, though, I will treasure every moment we have together.

Oh, dogs. You may never know how much I love you. But I hope you do. How I hope you do.


Do you have a dog? Feel free to tag a photo with #cupofjodogs on Instagram — we would love to see them.

P.S. Good life advice and a dog Halloween costume.

(Photo of Mia the morkie by Caroline Donofrio.)

  1. Sydni Jackson says...

    Awww I love this so much! And “You are the only part of movies that consistently makes me cry. They can kill off the villain, or even most of the human characters, but they better not dare touch the dog.” — 100% agree! I only get over-emotional about non-human characters in movies (Pixar counts as non-human). I think it’s because when we watch animals in a movie, we get a glimpse into the souls of the creatures we tend to view as so genuine, caring, funny, and naïve. It breaks my heart when something happens that makes them sad, because they would never make us feel that way. <3

  2. Ingrid says...

    Loved every word.

  3. Emily says...

    My sister and I always talk about how great it would be if our dogs could text. When I went to college and moved out, I would FaceTime my dogs, and it is still one of my favorite things to do.

  4. Denise says...

    My dog is a cat and she’s the best puppycat anyone could ever ask for.

  5. Sid says...

    I want to encourage everyone to listen to Andrea Gibson’s spokenword “A letter to my dog, exploring the human condition”. It will melt your heart! https://youtu.be/SMeTA9-zMuk

  6. Kate says...

    What a heartwarming post.

    I am a Cocker Spaniel enthusiast (read: fanatic). Even with two toddlers I currently have three – two golden and one black. I’ve had 8 Spaniels in my life, two at a time since I was born. I read somewhere recently that patting your (a?) dog releases oxytocin, the happy hormone. Rubbing a silky Spaniel is akin to Xanax in my opinion.

  7. Fiona McG says...

    I love hearing people speak to their dogs like they are people (I also love dogs with people names like Brian!). I recently walked past a dog at my local park who barked at a bicyclist going past, and her owner turned to her and addressed her with, “Well, now you are just being ridiculous”. it made me laugh so hard!

    • Sasha L says...

      We have a dog named Ed 😊. It brings such delight to people when they hear us call him. He’s a lab border collie mix, which I prefer to call a lollie pup. He’s also a grand champion in dog agility, he REALLY likes when I brag about him and I like to make him happy so….

  8. denisa says...

    this is so beautiful and so touching. the last part gave me goosebumps and put tears into my eyes.

  9. Allie says...

    My heart and mind thinks of my Charlie when I read this. Thank you for putting words to feelings. :)

  10. Courtney says...

    This is perfect! The unconditional love of a dog has helped me through so many of the highs and lows of life. I grew up begging for a dog, after my parents had given away their schnauzer “Champion” when my sister was born. Babiez lol. We finally got one when I started middle school, and my family has had dogs ever since.

    My husband and I got our first dog together the week before we moved to NYC, when we realized our apartment allowed dogs and our insurance would be mildly cheaper (like our friendly rescue was really going to protect our 1st floor digs from intruders, ha). She was my best friend in NYC, and was how we met our best human friends too (dog parks, hey-o). Working as an oncology nurse, her greeting after 12+ hr shifts was what kept me going many days. We took walks on my days off, and she got me through some really tough days. She traveled everywhere with us, even though her car sickness and seperation anxiety made it less than appealing at times :). The hardest part of deciding to move to South Korea was having to leave Lillie, but we left her in the hands of my in-laws (who always needed a dog, but wouldn’t get one themselves). She became their best companion, and when my father-in-law unexpectedly passed away a year later, she was at his side. She is now my mother-in-law’s best friend, and will remain with her the rest of her days.

    Our time in Korea was supposed to be one year, but when it was beginning to look like more, my stipulation was I would stay if we got a dog. The week of our 5th wedding anniversary, when I was feeling beyond lonely and homesick, we went to get pizza and a lady selling vegetables on the corner had a box of puppies. We tried to ask in our broken English the price and sex of the little golden pup, and the “girl” dog for $30 came home with us. Our guy Charlie Makgeolli (makgeolli is Korean rice wine), who we later discovered was typically bred as a side dish, is now my best bud as we live across the world. He is the weirdest dog I’ve ever known, and makes me laugh on a daily basis with his antics.

    All that to say, dogs are the best of humanity in my humble opinion. They ask for nothing, and give so much. Everything is a wonder, and they make you a kinder, gentle human to others. They stay by your side through thick and thin. When I read or watch the news, and see war and dirty politicians (def should have tails, btw, brilliant) I always say to myself “They should have a dog” and/or “Instead of guns, they should just have puppies. That would solve everything” and of course, “Dogs should just run the world.” Dogs for President, 2020. Forever and always.

  11. Carla says...

    I read this aloud to my dog, Ferdinand.

    Now I’m crying.

    I read this site every day, but this has been, hands down, my favorite post ever.

  12. Julie says...

    Made my heart swell. I’ve had dogs in my life seen as I was born and totally relate to this post.

  13. Alexandra Fouracre-Smith says...

    Aww I loved this and could relate to e every bit. We’ve had our dog just under a year and I can’t imagine not having him now!

  14. Sammie says...

    Perfectly said! While I was reading, my dog was sleeping and making his usual moans that make me laugh and think he is perfect. xo

  15. AJ says...

    Oh Caroline, I love this so much! Thank the universe for dogs, hey (my cat now for me). Sending all the good vibes your way. Sounds like very exciting times are brewing for you, keep shining bright and sharing your words, they are so, so appreciated by so many of us x

  16. Gisela says...

    So, so, so true… to share our time with a dog is like having won big time… so much love, free love, overwhelming love is hard to explain!!! Beautiful post!

  17. Cass says...

    All so true. And my dog does the best stretches that remind me how good it is to stretch my back and legs. And she makes the most wonderpil noises. Good whines and grunts and little wuffs to ensure she gets my attention. It took me 37 year from first wanting a dog to getting one, and it’s not always simple – but it’s also the best.

  18. Aura Parks says...

    yes– slightly used popcorn!! i always refer to our dogs smell as such… it doesn’t translate well but is so comforting and nice.
    i am also deeply envious of dogs’ ability to JUST BE– no ego, no self-consciousness, no knowledge of their own mortality, etc.

  19. I LOVE THIS POST! You have captured what I feel about my dog every minute of every day. Even when he is “destroyer of worlds” as I call him, I find it endearing (my husband, whose possessions are often destroyed, does not agree). My dog is my everything, a close second behind my children. In fact I call him my 3rd child that I never had. He brings me so much joy, just looking at him, just being with him. Sometimes he’s the only thing that can bring me out of myself. Like you said, it’s like he looks into my soul. Even though we are a family of four, only my daughter has the same connection with our dog that I do. She recognizes him (as I do) as the wonderful amazing spiritual being that he is. Like he has been here before but yet like he sees every day anew. She loves all dogs – when we go on vacation she counts dogs and keeps a list (last vacation there were over 400 counted dogs in Spain).

  20. Jill says...

    Sniff sniff. Thanks for making me cry at my desk.

  21. Heidi says...

    Oh I just love this so, so much. I always say that dogs are by far the superior creature — sometimes we humans really do not deserve them! And yes — my ultimate wish would be that my sweet boy could live forever. Even thinking about that dreadful day brings me to tears. :( Thanks for this, Caroline — I love me some kindred-spirit-dog-people. :)

  22. Tis says...

    Our golden retriever has just triumphantly returned–always a dignified loser–from yet another tussle with a skunk. A smell like “slightly used popcorn”…?!? I wish!! lol

  23. LKB says...

    A few months ago I had a very early miscarriage–so early that if I hadn’t been paying very close attention, I probably wouldn’t have known that I was pregnant. But, when it started and I didn’t know what was happening (the worst part!), my dog wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She’s cuddly at night, but during the day usually does her own thing. That day, though, she slept by my chair, or on the couch with me–she was always nearby. When I went downstairs for just seconds to put something in a closet, I remember thinking “why is she here?”, b/c I literally walked to the bottom of the staircase, put it away, and walked back up. And that sweet girl was right there. I still didn’t know what was happening with the pregnancy, but she knew. I suppose that dogs always know when we need them, even if we don’t know ourselves.

  24. Amy says...

    “My heart swells and breaks every time you look at me with your eyes….” – this. Every single time I snuggle my dog in a quiet moment, this. My heart fills to the brim with joy, but that joy is immediately followed by pangs of dread because I know our time together is limited. She’s 5 and a half, but I’ve had this bittersweet reaction ever since we brought her home at 6 months old.

  25. Cynthia says...

    I read the letter to my dog and he fell asleep! This is such a sweet post. We can learn a lot from our pets.

  26. Cora says...

    This post makes me want a dog.

  27. Madeline says...

    When my first daughter was born all of my “immediately after we got home from the hospital” hormones were focused on my dog. I couldn’t look at her without sobbing and thinking about what a good girl she is. And she is the best girl.

    • Hayley says...

      Mine too! I was so nervous that my dog would feel left out. 3 days home home from the hospital and I kept telling my husband “we have to take Loca to the beach!” My daughter is now 3 months and it breaks my heart when I can’t give my dog the attention she craves because I have to tend to my baby girl. My dream is that the three of us will be best friends and Loca won’t ever feel left out.

    • Melissa says...

      Madeline – same!

      Hayley – same! My son is 13 months now and our pup turned 4 today. It gets easier!! This weekend we are planning a family hike in the woods, which is something we would always do with our pup, but couldn’t do with a newborn. But.. we can now. Just you having that thought and intention means that you’ll figure it out! Loca knows you love her. I’ve been there and I connect with you!!

    • Hayley says...

      Thank you Melissa. Can’t wait for all the family adventures. Hope your hike is amazing.

  28. Stephanie Bergman says...

    This feeling x 1000 if you rescue a shelter dog.

  29. Elizabeth says...

    This post has made my day; I’ll spend the rest of it being grateful for my two pups and thinking about how much they enrich my life. “Gently used popcorn”–spot on!

  30. I have an inability to walk passed/near/in sight of a dog and not go “ooh look! Doggie!!” to my Husband and he’ll go “I know, it’s a lovely doggie”, he has the same conversation with my 2 year old Niece…. :)

    Rebecca

  31. Simone says...

    Dogs. Better than the best! They are amazing life lesson providers and sources of deep comfort. I just want to hug them all. All the time. Anywhere. Forever!

  32. Inês Calisto says...

    What a brilliant post!
    My husband wants us to adopt a dog very badly and I’m always the one considering and procrastinating…
    Thank you for clearing my mind.

  33. corina says...

    I might be a little crazy here, but hey, today I mark my 4th year with my beagle girl, so this post strikes so close to home!
    I took the liberty to alter a teeny tiny bit the lyrics to “To all the girls I loved before” sung by Julio Iglesias :D and turned them into this:

    To All the Dogs I’ve Pet Before
    (modified by Corina Cucutianu)
    To all the dogs I’ve pet before
    Who traveled in and out my (soul)door
    I’m glad they came along
    I dedicate this song
    To all the dogs I’ve pet before
    To all the dogs I once caressed
    And may I say, I’ve pet the best
    For helping me to grow, I owe a lot, I know
    To all the dogs I’ve pet before
    The owners always dragged them back
    And every time I tried to stay
    The owners kept on dragging them
    And they just went away so fast
    To all the dogs who shared my life
    Who now are someone else’s pups
    I’m glad they came along
    I dedicate this song
    To all the dogs I’ve pet before
    To all the dogs who wagged their tail
    Who filled my hands with furry chaos
    They live within my heart
    I’ll always be a part
    Of all the dogs I’ve pet before

    P.s. I’m totally gonna read tonight this letter to my dog.
    Also, I tagged her on instagram :)

    Love, love, love this online comunity!

    • mallory says...

      I feel you. I re-wrote the lyrics to America The Beautiful to be about my dog instead lol.

  34. Jessica says...

    This post made me 1) miss my doggie who died 7 years ago (the memory of which can still bring me to tears) and 2) realize I need to appreciate our new family doggie for all that he is worth. Now that I’m have children, it’s so easy to relegate the dog to second class citizen. But this post helped me remember why they are in a special class of their own. Thank you Caroline!

  35. june2 says...

    Well. Finally some public acknowledgement of the incredibleness of dogs! So many pet owners treat them a little like furniture, ignoring the showers of love their dogs emanate 24/7, instead of acknowledging their love of good food, expressive love and the exercise they deserve! Below is a link to one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read, as well as being about dogs! Hope someone reads it and enjoys as much as I did!

    The Secret Language of Dogs: Stories from a Dog Psychic
    https://amzn.to/2OjNYD3

  36. Now that my dog is getting older, I’ve made a point out of telling her every day that I love her and that she’s a good girl. I dread the day I will no longer be able to. She makes me laugh on a daily basis, licks my tears when I’m crying and on the days where I feel like I can’t do anything but lie underneath my duvet, she crawls under there with me too. When I became a mother, she became one too, getting up each time I’d have to get up in the night to feed him or change him. We were a bit worried how she’d be around him as she was very nervous around kids, but she got it from day one when we brought our kiddo home from the hospital, and would sit guard whenever I’d nurse him. I love her so, so much.

    Also, there’s a reason for that popcorn smell: http://mentalfloss.com/article/25030/why-do-your-dogs-feet-smell-popcorn

  37. caitlin says...

    I knew my boyfriend was a keeper when he got emotional about the future death of his dog.

  38. Irene says...

    Yes, yes…a dog is just like a warm fuzzy sweater, so loving, huggable, and faithful companion. I lost my 17 year old dog last month; she had lived a good long life and loved me as much as I love her. Unconditional love it is true…dogs teach us humans so many lessons about life :)

  39. Vivian says...

    Caroline —

    Thank you so much for this! I will definitely be reading this to my pups and meaning every word it as my own. Dogs are simply the best.

  40. Julie Keegan says...

    Since I was a little girl, I have always wished that humans and their dogs had some sort of inner tie that they would pass away exactly when you did. Not one day sooner, not one day later….

  41. Sara says...

    I just read this aloud to my husband, two sons, and our beloved dog, Rudy. When I looked up, everyone had tears in their eyes, (pup included). Thank you, Caroline. What a beautiful essay.

  42. Katie H. says...

    Thank you Caroline. I read this while my 5 month old puppy chased her tail and chewed on me, the couch, her stick, and her chicken. I am so grateful for this little ball of fluff. (And, yes! Conversations between people and their dogs are the best.)

  43. Anna says...

    I was with my grandma when she died two years ago and the last thing she said was “Rover”… I said who and my mum said her childhood dog. I know they are together.

    • Bri says...

      This made me tear up! <3

  44. TM says...

    This is every thought I’ve ever had. Just better written. I LOVE DOGS.

  45. Haleigh says...

    Made me tear up. You did it again, Caroline! Thank you for giving words to this special relationship that so many of us are lucky to have.
    I’ve thought about it even more than usual this week, after my dog got pretty beat up in a fight. What would we do without them?

  46. Becky says...

    Have you ever watched the short movie Denali? you can google it. It is narrated from the dog’s perspective if I recall correctly. It’s a tear jerker but incredibly touching.
    I made the mistake of reading two fiction books centered around dogs while traveling on my honeymoon.
    The Art of Racing in Rain
    and
    Lily and the Octopus.
    I was in total in tears. I can’t read books like these anymore but the stories were so beautiful. of course, I read these while away from our dog for two weeks.
    I have loved reading these comments. Who doesn’t love a dog? even after our dog has been attacked twice by other dogs, I still love dogs, and her even more.

  47. Emily says...

    I loooove the overheard dog conversation bit. It’s so real.

    Today, while it was pouring in NYC, another dog started pulling on leash toward my pup and the owner said, “No! Not today. Today is NOT the day to try and make friends!” Hilarious (and true).

  48. Jessica says...

    Beautiful post, this really makes me miss my dog (he passed three years ago). Especially the bit on smell. What I’d give to smell that sweet warm musk again, which I’m sure was disgusting to everyone but me!

  49. I loved this!

    I haven’t had a chance to read through the comments, so apologies if I’m repeating, but Caroline, I hope you follow Thoughts of Dog on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dog_feelings It’s the BEST – it’s from the same guy who does Dog Rates (but better, in my opinion).

  50. jilleun says...

    This post was too sweet. My pups are one of my very favorite parts of life.

  51. Julie says...

    This was the best dog post I’ve ever read. Thank you so much. I lost my 14 1/2 year old labradoodle, Buckley, in June. I miss him every minute of every day.

  52. Crystal says...

    Wow, this post couldn’t have come at a better time for me at this difficult season in my life. I just found out yesterday that my boy Boomer has liver cancer and only has about 5 or 6 months left. He has been my best friend for the past 4 years and I can’t imagine a life without him. I can’t help but beat myself up and think that I should have done more sooner to prevent this. I wish he could have told me what was wrong so I could fix it. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next few months but I’m going to try to make sure he has the best life ever.

    Thanks for writing this, it put a smile to my face during a time where I find it very difficult to. I’ve been reading this wonderful blog for years but this is my first ever comment. Thanks again ♥️

    • Melissa says...

      Thinking of you ❤️

  53. Sandra says...

    Reading this and then thinking about my pups (my boy, Louie, who passed away last July and my girl, Tulip, who is sleeping next to me) brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful love letter to the sweetest loves of our life.

  54. susan says...

    Heart emojis.

  55. Megan says...

    So so beautifully written. I read this aloud to my 2 month old baby while he was nursing. I got all choked up at the end since my parents recently had to say good bye to our family dog of 15 years. ❤️

  56. Laura says...

    As a child, the best dreams I had were the ones where I got a dog! my family has a collie who came from a farm on the west coast of Ireland. After a broken heart this July, I got my own little chihuahua who is the most darling, cheeky little joy-bomb ever. Sometimes I sneak home from work just to see her for 2 minutes when I’m out on a call. All I can say is that her love has carried me through!

  57. Lucy in England says...

    Oh how I miss my dog. He died six months after we got married, 7 years ago at the age of 2 from a brain disease called leukodystrophy. We called him Peyton Manning (did you ever see that stupid “throw the ball, catch the ball ad?) and he was just everything I dreamed of for years of longing for a dog. Then we had to take him to say goodbye. The empty house on our return was hell. You just never know what’s around the corner so love on your pups people. I still cry. I’m crying now. And I don’t know if we will ever be brave enough to love another dog.

  58. Jude says...

    I absolutely love this. Lost our sweet rescue Springer Spaniel, Kona, when she was 10. We adopted her when she was almost 7, so only had a few short years together. To us, she became more beautiful as she got older. She also had a special smell, like softened butter. It’s been 13 months and I still miss her everyday. I lost my dad, whom I loved dearly, yet losing Kona was just as (if not more) devastating. Thank you for reminding us of how much people can love and bond with their pets in such an unconditional way. Of how much unconditional love there still is in this world.

  59. Michaela says...

    Crying at my desk at this beautiful piece. We had to put down my family dog last week, a 14-year old golden retriever who lived a truly amazing life and loved everything that crossed his path. If only hoomans could be a bit more like doggos, and if only doggos could live as long as hoomans :)

  60. Caitlin says...

    We have a little Shibu Inu who has our hearts. We are 4 months pregnant with our 1st baby and I honestly catch myself asking, “Will I love this baby as much as I love this dog?” Which, of course, is ridiculous but that’s how deep the love goes for this little pup!

  61. Laura J says...

    “He spoke through tears of fifteen years how his dog and him traveled about
    His dog up and died
    He up and died
    After twenty years he still grieves”
    Mr. Bojangles
    Dogs give and receive love in an unending flow. How lucky we are.

  62. TJ says...

    I love this. I adore my husband and children, but I always tell my dog that I love her best.

    Also, I couldn’t handle if she talked, because she’d be all ‘Mooomomomooooomdoooooon’tgoooooooooo’ and I would have to quit my job and all of my external plans, long-term.

  63. Kat says...

    “warm and pleasant, like gently used popcorn.” I just died reading that. That is exactly what a dog smells like, even when they don’t.

  64. Cassie says...

    Sometimes when I drink too much wine I’ll start crying when I realize that my dog won’t live forever (T_T)

    • allison says...

      I’m doing this right now. Especially after reading this beautiful letter. <3

    • mindi says...

      Oh, this happens to me without wine.

  65. Joaquina says...

    I dream of a world in which all animals are revered, cherished, and prized as dogs are. I encourage everyone to spend time getting to know a farm animal, your heart and brain will open up to an empathic perspective.

    • Amelia says...

      Yes! Agreed! <3

  66. Danielle says...

    Dog’s feet definitely smell like something- corn related. I’ve always said fritos but I could get onboard with popcorn!

    I really loved this memoir about life and then some with dogs: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-15-101211-4
    In it she refers to her dog’s ears as “velvet lily pads” and I’ve always thought that was so perfect. We have a wirehaired dog but his ears are velvety soft and I could pet them for hours.

    • Kate says...

      Yes to the frito feet….yes!

    • Rose says...

      Yes to this book! Such a good one

    • Ellie says...

      Since I was a little girl, I have always thought fritos, too!

    • A says...

      I always think my dog’s paws smell like cooked rice… my little rice paws!

    • Alex says...

      Omg I call it Fritos too!!!! It’s definitely Fritos this is too funny

    • Katie M. says...

      We call them “tortilla chip paws”! I agree that Fritos is also an accurate “smell-alike” for paws.

  67. MS says...

    Thank you for this – as it made my otherwise anxiety filled day just a little calmer. I can relate. I have a 14-yr old Yorkie who makes my eyes well-up every time I walk into a room and see him curled into a ball sleep – unaware sometimes due to his age – that I am there. But when he senses my presence, he makes every effort with his aches and pains to come to me and greet me. I cannot imagine my world without him.

    • CL says...

      Oh MS! I feel the same about my own Yorkie. Thinking of you.

    • ghana smith says...

      I have the same feeling for the 16-yr old Lhasa Apso who is my best friend!!! I used to get nervous when she stop jumping up when I walked into the house. But the nervousness has turned into motivation to enjoy each moment and turn it into the best moment. I can not imagine my world without her too!!!

  68. Robin says...

    Thank you for this–reading just after finding out my sweet pup does not have cancer!!

    • Sasha L says...

      Oh yay!!!!!!!!!

  69. Elese says...

    What a beautiful dedication. This comes at a bittersweet time, as both of my dogs are suffering from lymphoma. They have been slowly deteriorating over the last year, and we think that it may be soon time to guide them peacefully over the rainbow bridge. They are litter mates and have been together since birth. They share a bed and snuggle next to each other in the same beam of sun on the floor. They are both “the best pets” and “the good-est boys”, and we have been so blessed to have had their love for the last 14 years.

    • emily says...

      So sorry to hear you’re going through this! At least your boys are in it together and it sounds like they have had long, happy lives – somehow that is less heartbreaking than thinking of one suddenly having to be without the other! Hoping for peaceful and happy days for all of you, however many are left.

    • june2 says...

      One of the ladies at our dog park gives her tiny elderly dog cbd oil made especially for pets – she says her dog will not go walking without it due to arthritis. But with a daily dosage, she is so happy to go for walks, even though slowly. If it’s legal in your area, perhaps it’s worth a try?

  70. Caroline This is such a joyful letter. I experienced it as a meditation on deep unconditional* love.
    *I do wish my Sunny girl would STOP ROLLING IN GROSS UNAPPEALING STUFF
    You know what else it is…….ART, really. I would buy this as a poster and frame it and live with it in my home on my wall.

    How fortunate for all of us that you have quite a beautiful writing voice.

    • Sunny's mom says...

      My sweet girl is also named Sunny!! An adorable couple at the park always calls her Sunshine as if they are calling her by her full name and I love it so much lol She is appropriately named, as she is the light of my life and I adopted her impulsively at the height of my severe depression, she gave me joy when I thought I was physically unable to feel it. Dogs are soo so good.

      Give your Sunny pats and tell her she’s doing great work in life!

  71. maria says...

    tagged a few pics of my babies – and am sharing your article with my husband, we BOTH feel so much as you do! LOVE!

  72. Claire says...

    The first movie I ever cried at was My Dog Skip. Don’t even get me started on Marley & Me…

    • Beth says...

      Marley & Me! Stop! I have rarely cried so much in a movie… and did not go in expecting to weep either!

    • Bex says...

      When our family went to see that movie, we had to leave because my little brother was sobbing so uncontrollably. I feel this so much, Claire!

  73. Krystin says...

    I loved this. Dogs are everything and more. My girl is my baby, best friend, protector and holds such a big part of my heart. Spot on writing one of my favorites.

  74. Kari says...

    My husband and I got a puppy just two months ago and it’s recently struck me just how in love I am with this little dog. She’s adorable like all puppies, but in just a matter of weeks I am totally obsessed and cannot imagine my life without her. She is a little furry ball of love and joy and loyalty (and mischief) like I didn’t know existed.

    Joanna, time for the boys to get a dog… ;)

  75. Amber says...

    Lolling @ “like gently used popcorn” ! I have always said that my cat smells like laundry that was freshly washed in scent-free soap. Does that make sense to anyone but myself??? I love pets so much. My cat will jump up on the couch and headbutt the blanket on my lap to tell me that he wants me to lift it up so he can snuggle down under the blankets with me, and it makes me like the giant-heart-eye-emoji every time.

  76. Veronica says...

    What a timely piece for me. This morning I filled out an application to adopt my first furry friend. I can’t wait to experience all the feels!

    • Kirstin says...

      oh yay! yay yay yay!

    • Sasha L says...

      ❤️❤️❤️

    • molly says...

      yay!!!! the best kind of love. they honestly know you saved them.

  77. Colleen says...

    thinking about what Stef and Sasha L said about working from home, surrounded by dogs. Can you do a post asking what people who work from home do for jobs for those of us who hope to get there someday?

    • Sasha L says...

      Colleen, I run an in home very small preschool. It’s wonderful for so many reasons. One of the best is sharing our day all together, dogs, cats, hens, children, me. The children’s day is greatly enriched by learning about animals and of course, the dogs just soak up the pets and treats and cozy home. At naptime, dogs and I all get a couch cuddle break. I like that I provide a needed service for my families as well as being a job I wholeheartedly love.

    • Hilary says...

      I work from home, where I edit! :-) (I wish I had an office cat for company!!)

  78. Madeleine says...

    My dog died unexpectedly after ACL surgery in June. While I was devastated, it was really amazing to see how wonderful my friends and family were. They sent cards and flowers and offered to come stay with me to keep me company. Thank you, Caroline for putting into words the exact feeling that a dog’s companionship brings.

  79. Emily says...

    Very important: My puppy would also like an adorable needlepoint pillow of himself. Can you please advise?

    • brianna says...

      Not needlepoint, but check out Dani Ives Fiber Artist. She does beautiful work!

  80. Caitlin says...

    Love x 1,000,000. We are not worthy of dogs.

  81. Anne says...

    Love this. Makes me teary. The description of the aggressive cuddle especially rings true–I can’t wait to get home and get the same from our dog Henry. Makes my heart ache just thinking about it.

    I also laughed at the “overheard dog convos” bit. The way my partner and I talk to our dog at home is hilarious (and a bit humiliating if it was broadcast for everyone to hear tbh). If he could respond, I’m sure it would be mostly eye rolls and the exasperated groans of a kid embarrassed by their parents, haha.

  82. valentina says...

    I love this so much! I love it almost as much as the fact that my not-quite-six-months goldendoodle is currently laying at my feet, sleeping so hard and twitching up a storm. Thank you for writing this!

  83. leah says...

    i lost both of my beloved corgis within three weeks of one another this summer. the heartbreak was gutting — a pain i felt physically, even. the newfound silence that comes with a lack of claws clicking across wood floors reminded me every day of what i had lost. they were both very close to my heart as i read this beautiful post. thank you, caroline. i hope they knew how much i loved them, and i hope my two new little rescue friends know it too.

  84. Sasha L says...

    I don’t really believe in heaven, except when I think of my dogs. My gosh I just want them to all be there waiting for me. A few years ago my daughter begged to *just look* at the dogs at our humane society (we already had two, had said goodbye to our oldest just a few months before). Ha, *just look*. We came home with a 16 yo lab named Otis. His owner (same since he was a puppy) had become homeless and couldn’t take care of him. F#ck, people, can you imagine the grief that poor guy felt? So we made Otis part of our family for his last few months. No way in hell I was going to let him die in a shelter. The sweetest, most endearing dog you can even imagine, and I love ALL the dogs. I told my kids, forget everything I’ve ever tried to teach you; this, this is all you need to know. Do the good you can in the world.

    • Andra says...

      Sasha, thank you for doing that for Otis! I had a foster (“fospice”) cat for a little while last year, and was so happy to be able to give him a quiet, comfy home for his final few months instead of the shelter. What a gift pets are!

    • Carrie says...

      Sasha, what a wonderful and generous thing to do. This made me tear up. Thank you!

    • Kate says...

      You are the best, Sasha! And, yes, when I think of heaven I think of my beloved yellow lab swimming through a mountain lake, smiling, just like I remember her doing in moments that brought us such joy when she was alive!

    • Kate says...

      ❤️

    • Julie Keegan says...

      Sasha….you are my hero. And inspiring me to consider taking in an older dog :)

    • Sasha L says...

      Julie Keegan, oh please do!!

      When I brought Otis home, my husband said, very kindly, “honey, he’s just going to die.” I knew that. Truly. He was 16. And it did hurt, for all of us, when he did. It doesn’t take very long to become completely attached and fall in love. But, BUT, every day is a lifetime to a dog. They live in the present. If you can give an old dog any number, even a really small number, of good days, it’s a tremendous gift. Old dogs in shelters have SO MUCH LOVE to give. And you won’t believe how much happiness that will bring you. I wish more people were brave (reckless) and just let their hearts lead them. There are so many old dogs feeling lonely right now, and so many of us too. My whole family did not regret loving Otis for a single second. And we will absolutely do it again (we’re at capacity with three at moment).

  85. Alex P says...

    Having a mediocre day at work, but reading this made my heart swell thinking about my pup who is patiently (or not) awaiting my arrival home from the office.

  86. Betsie says...

    Thank you, Caroline! I’m generally not a very sentimental person (I’m 18 weeks pregnant with my first and it’s a struggle to meet the level of preciousness about it that people seem to expect), but man, ask me to think about my pitbull doggie and I will 100% tear up. “My Little Alien” by Kate Nash does me in every time I listen.

  87. Liz says...

    Every word <3 Caroline, you've done it again.

  88. Emilie says...

    My dog has a little cinnamon role of a curled tail and it unwinds when she is upset. The ultimate mood barometer!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the cutest. :)

  89. Amanda G says...

    Oh, dogs. They are such a true joy!

    I do quite a few volunteer opportunities with a local organization that builds and maintains hiking trails in our state, and due to many reasonable factors, dogs aren’t allowed to tag along with the volunteers. But if I ever doubted how absolutely awesome the power of a dog is, I’d need only use one of these projects as an example. Every time a dog walks through our work site on the trail while hiking with their owners, all work grinds to a halt and the kissing noises and baby talk commence. Everyone wants to pet the dog, love the dog, talk to the dog! They are such an enormous morale booster it’s unfathomable haha.

    I myself have two mutts, and they are far and away the best part of my life (my husband acknowledges and accepts this fact). Life would truly be sad without the love of our furry pals.

  90. Lucia Lee says...

    GUYS, why do we even deserve dogs again?? 🐾🖤

    • Charlotte says...

      We don’t, but they may be our only hope.

  91. Carrie says...

    As I read this, a slideshow of warm memories with my dog drifted through my mind set to …well, any number of Sarah McLachlan songs.

    After my husband, he is my second greatest love. His paws have that wonderful corn-chip smell. We have our own special way to hug. And I love him so much I even think his breath smells good. It’s how I imagine mothers must feel when they say their babies head smells good.

    He is my joy and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

    • Kari says...

      The foot smell!! I always say our pup has “nacho feet” and my husband thinks I’m crazy.

    • Jamie says...

      I think dogs and cats have cheesy paws!

  92. Myev says...

    Truth. Love this.

  93. Lindsay says...

    I love this so, so much! Truer words have never been spoken. Dogs <3

  94. nme says...

    love this!

    our dog, louie, is the best person i know.

  95. Martina says...

    Thank you for this wonderful post! I just read it to my 8year old Golden Retriever. She’s a little down, since she had to visit the vet 8 (!) times the last couple of weeks and treatment still going on, but maybe (hopefully) she doesn’t suspect the latter (she’s got a “bloodear”, never heard of that before…) . Hope I cheered her up a little – tried my best with the funny voices ;-)

  96. Alice the greyhound says...

    Dear Caroline,
    fanks for da letter. My hooman read it to me in a sing-songy voice, my favourite :)
    We like hoomans too, especially the ones who take us home and give us comfy beds and luv us, they are da best.
    Yours,
    Alice x

    • Alice the greyhound says...

      By the way, look for me on instagram: Alicethegreyhound :)

  97. Bridget says...

    I have 2 pups. It never ceases to amaze me that they are so so happy to see me. every. time. Thank you. Well said. I might have shed a tear reading, “But that’s second on my list, after wishing you could live forever.”

  98. Meg says...

    My rescue dog Buddy, named for his enormous elf ears, is my whole heart. He came from a shelter in a small town in Texas and has made my life so much fuller. I will read this to him in silly voices :)

  99. Steph says...

    The best part of working from home is that every day is ‘take your dog to work day’. Love this, especially about the tails.

    • Sasha L says...

      Yes. Sitting on my couch right now, mid work day, with the dogs sleeping around me. I couldn’t ask for a better life.

  100. Great and beautiful writing ! Bravo!

  101. Jess says...

    I’m sitting at my desk crying tears of joy and sadness. Literally crying. This is really beautiful – not just the subject matter or the observations and insight, but the writing itself. I can’t wait to get home to my dog and read this aloud to her in funny voices.

  102. Hannah says...

    Yes! Nodded and chuckled and threw many an understanding glance at my snoozing dog nearby. Can’t wait to share this with my husband.

  103. Awads says...

    My little girl boston terrier is deaf, but i still talk to her in silly voices. she knows what i’m saying. she doesn’t have a tail (born that way), but i know what she is saying. i can’t wait to get home today and give her all the hugs! thanks for the homage!

    • Ingrid says...

      My grand doggie, Violet Anne, is a deaf Boston terrier, and she knows when we’re talking to her. She loves her family so much, but does not like non-family people. We all love her so much. (I have three grandchildren and three granddoggies, and I love them all.)

  104. Kayla says...

    I wish we could all post pictures of our pups in the comment section!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      me too!!!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      kayla, i have an idea! let’s do a hashtag #cupofjodogs on instagram — tag your photos of your dogs! we will kickstart it on our instagram feed in two seconds: https://www.instagram.com/cupofjo/

    • Carrie says...

      I was thinking the same thing!!!

    • Meg says...

      #cupofjodogs is THE BEST work distraction right now. <3 <3 <3

  105. Em says...

    Is it weird that I have these same exact thoughts about my 10-month-old?! Every. Single. One. But some day when she thinks I’m the most embarrassing person in the world, Caroline’s dog will still be enraptured with her! I am a cat person, but I loved this. Thanks, Caroline!

  106. Maggie says...

    My favorite affirmation from my Pilates teacher years ago that I still think about is to “be the person your dog thinks you are.”

  107. Tara Ilsley says...

    My life fell apart this year, lost a baby and husband left abruptly. You know who did not leave? Roxy- my 7 year old mut.

    She has saved me. We have saved each other. Each day we wake up, we walk. We learn to live alone, together. She knows when I need her the most and gives me extra cuddles. Thank you for this <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      tara, what an incredibly hard year. i’m so, so sorry for your loss. sending love to you and sweet roxy. xoxo

    • Carrie says...

      Oh Tara. Wishing I could hug you. I’m so sorry for all that you’ve been though. I’m glad you and Roxy have each other.

    • Tara, I cannot imagine how tough this past year has been. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through. I used to have a dog named Roxy and she and her brother, Otis, were such compassionate pets. Wishing for lots of Roxy cuddles for you.

  108. Minn says...

    I love Caroline (and dogs)!

    Her writing is beautiful and always gets to the point and hits a spot! How does she do this?? (Witchcraft?)

  109. SN says...

    Dogs, man.

    My husband and I rescued a gem of a dog and I can honestly say, he’s the best part of our lives. He loves and protects and cuddles endlessly. His smiles and plea for pets in the neighborhood is my form of community service… the joy he brings to people is beyond anything I could ever offer the world. Every day I feel lucky he’s ours.

  110. Laura says...

    Thanks for sharing this. My dogs are most best coping mechanism for my anxiety and my insomnia. They keep me joyful, grateful, and healthy. Everyday they teach me how to love better and how to forgive more often. They make my home warmer and safer and my outlook more optimistic. I know they love me, and I sure hope they know how much I love them.

  111. Liz says...

    Love this. My yoga teacher always says dogs are here to teach us kindness.

    I have a 70lb chocolate lab who is also known for “aggressively close” cuddles and getting so excited to give you kisses that he grunts while doing it <3 it's both the sweestest and funniest thing

  112. Cindy says...

    “They can kill off the villain, or even most of the human characters, but they better not dare touch the dog.”

    Same.

  113. ekbnyc says...

    I love this. The popcorn smell (I’ve always called it warm Fritos), the claw sounds coming into the room, everything. It’s like you read my mind.

  114. JS says...

    This is so beautiful. I love my dog just like this.

  115. Amy says...

    Umm tell me I’m not the only person who literally shed tears while reading this! Heartburst!

  116. Gabrielle says...

    Oh man, dogs in movies. The people closest to me know that I cannot watch a movie in which a dog is even close to being harmed and kindly warn me when they’ve seen one EVEN if the dog turns out OK. Kill all the people, but don’t touch the dog!!!

    This is a truly wonderful post that made me smile tearfully and also lol. Bravo, Caroline.

  117. Kate says...

    Whatever you do don’t watch the new Marshmello/Bastille song “Happier” music video….*tear*

    • leah says...

      whyyyy didn’t i listen to your warning?! *sob*

  118. Julie says...

    Love my dogs (ok – all dogs, even not my dogs) and love this. I encourage those dog people that do not yet have the space, or time, or commitment to have their own dog to… walk them! There are a lot of wonderful shelters (like MaxFund here in Denver) that desperately need volunteers to come take a walk with a dog or two. They are always so excited to see you, love you, and in turn being exercised and loved on makes them more mellow and charming when meeting potential adopters! It is literally one of the few no-strings-attached win/win activities anyone can be a part of.

  119. Roxana says...

    When I was ten my parents finally relented and got us a dog. A big Golden Retriever puppy with enormous paws. We named him Oscar. HE. WAS. THE. BEST. He was beautiful. Everyone in the neighborhood loved him. Since I’m the youngest in my family and since I lived at home while attending college, he was mine. I walked him. I took him to the vet. I gave him baths.

    After college, I moved-out and got an apartment with my sister and some friends. I started my first real job downtown. A few years passed and Oscar became old and little crotchety. He wasn’t as friendly. He would snap sometimes. But when we came home he’d lay in his spot, bark and his tail would thumb. He was happy to see us. My mom called me at work one day to say that she and our friend Susan (whom Oscar LOVED) were taking him to the vet. He had lost control of his backside. He’d had a stroke (I’m crying as I write this). They took him to the vet, and he was put to sleep. I never saw Oscar again.

    My sister and I had to leave town that weekend with a group of friends. We spent the whole weekend crying. We called home for consolation and my dad, who had been so reluctant to get us Oscar some thirteen years prior, answered the phone weeping. He said “This is why I never wanted him in the first place! We’re all heart broken. I miss him so much!”

    There is a patch of hard wood floor in my parents’ house that is faded. It’s between the kitchen and the dining room; on the threshold between the two spaces. From there, there is pretty easy access to both the front and back doors of the house. It was Oscar’s place. It’s been seventeen years since Oscar died and my dad, a home contractor, has never thought to “fix” that part of the floor.

    • Roxy says...

      you just made me cry and I am called unsentimental by others (which is a fair assessment) I think I’m going to think of Oscar all day and give my Temple, extra kisses

    • Moo says...

      Oh my goodness, totally in tears on my work lunch. Oscar does sound like he was the best! Dogs are the most magical.

    • wow. this is so touching. what a lovely tribute to Oscar

    • Louisa says...

      I cannot bring myself to wash the nose prints from the window.
      I had a teacher who would say “it’s the only love that money can buy.” And worth every penny.

    • Laura C. says...

      Oh Roxana, this is so moving. I can understand your dad. At home we were a cat family and when our cat Thelma had to leave after eleven years of “bothering us” we couldn’t speak a word. She passed two days after my sister’s wedding. My mom decided that she would adopt a cat never again. This was fourteen years ago.
      It hurts when it’s a cat, I can’t imagine how hard it is when it is a dog.

    • Andrea says...

      This is so lovely. Made me tear up. We have a big golden retriever with giant paws who is in love with our human neighbor. He’s 11 and I cannot imagine life without him. There is a patch on our wood floor that is worn away from him “burning out” EVERY TIME as he makes the turn at the end of the hallway to get to his food bowl as fast as he can. Maybe we shouldn’t get the floors refinished after all….

  120. Katherine Sullivan says...

    Oh sweet Jesus. I am literally headed to a pet-loss grief group tonight (my first time going!) after losing my sweet pup Scout a few months ago. I have lost parents and lovers, but losing my dog has been the absolute biggest heartbreak of my life. I think the hardest thing about it is that not everyone understands but this sweet post made me laugh cry and reminded me that a lot of people do get it. Thanks for posting this on the day I need it most! xx

    • Steph says...

      Big hugs!

    • Carrie says...

      Every day in between feeling so much love and gratitude for my dog I could almost burst I feel terror at the thought of losing him. Sorry that you are facing that right now. I hope the group helps you! I’m sure it will feel good to speak with others who understand. There is just nothing like the precious, beautiful love they give us.

    • Sasha L says...

      Oh I’m so sorry Katherine! Loving on my own Scout right now. Hang in there, big hugs.

  121. OMG is literally all I can say. <3

  122. rebecca says...

    Growing up my dad used to sing silly made up songs, and now I sing to my dog. A favorite of mine, to the tune of Eddie Murphy’s Party All The Time – Potty on The Lawn. Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t talk? I just love him to pieces and yes, they should live as long as us!

    • leah says...

      in june, i lost a really special little guy who i had for only five years — he was a rescue who came to me and my now-ex-husband already on the medically troubled side, but hung in there through various surgeries, vet visits, etc. anyway, toward the end of his life, he was on medication that had incontinence as a side effect, so he had to wear a belly band diaper so he wouldn’t pee all over the floor. i always sang “workin’ on my diap moves” to him when i changed his diaper. :) now anytime i hear “night moves” (is that even the name of that song? hmm) i think of him and smile (albeit with wet eyes).

    • Katherine says...

      I saw someone else tweet this one and I now sing it to my dog all the time: to the tune of we will rock you, “I feed my dog DOG FOOD”. He never looks amused but it cracks me up every time!

  123. Meredith says...

    This literally made me teary. My dog is currently curled up sleeping next to my desk (under a blanket on his tempur-pedic dog bed; only the best for him always), though I may wake him up to cuddle.

  124. LOVE.THIS.SO.MUCH! Remember Gemma’s cartoon about standing at a party and just talking to a dog? ME ALL THE TIME. Love my sweet golden retriever more than life itself!! See link below to all his sweet goldeny goodness.

  125. Lori says...

    This has me in tears! My dog of 11 years passed away two years ago. Very unexpectedly. Went in for a check up on Friday, found out he had cancer and passed away on Sunday. He was with me through everything; loved me at my worst and my best. I miss him terribly every day. Thank you for writing this, I love it.

  126. Katherine says...

    Oh the tears. We found out last week that our 12 year old dog, whom we adopted four years ago from the pound, has malignant melanoma and has six weeks – six months left with us. There are treatment options, but they cost thousands of dollars and with a baby on the way who has a kidney disorder, we cannot spare the money it would take to potentially lengthen her life by a year or so. That means we are enjoying the hell out of our sweet pup, with lots of walks and treats and cuddles, when she’ll let us. To think one day I won’t hear her nails clicking on the floor as she eagerly trots into a room to find me is heartbreaking. She is the first and only dog I’ve ever had, and she’s enriched my life in a way I did not know was possible. Thank you for this tribute, now excuse me as I go cry into her fur and take her for a nice long walk to the park.

    • C says...

      Oh Katherine! Don’t feel bad. You’ve given your dog such a good life! I hope your remaining days together are long and joyful. Go buy that dog some McNuggets and fries. Roll the windows down. Buy the big, obnoxious bone at the pet store. Let ’em hog the whole couch. And don’t close off your heart to a pup in need when the time calls again.

  127. Courtney says...

    This is amazing, thank you! Every part of this is absolutely true, and I do wonder what others think if they overhear the conversations I have with my dog on our morning walks, such as “I know the squirrel is taunting you, but you really have to let it go.” Once she found her way into my heart, I can’t imagine life without my pup.

  128. Cara says...

    This made me teary at work! Growing up with dogs, I’ve experienced so many moments where you know they understand what you’re feeling and that the way they understand it is on a deeper, more compassionate level than any other being. (I’ve heard dogs can smell emotions, so that probably has something to do with it.) I think it also stems from their loyalty. Their fascination with life and with their people is so pure. It’s given without expectation or duplicity. You can be the most boring, ugliest, blandest person on the planet and your dog will think you’re made of sunshine.

  129. Lucy says...

    I love Caroline’s posts, but this one if flat-out brilliant. Nailed it. Thanks for the big smile this afternoon.

  130. Inês says...

    I would have written a letter like this for cats. #catperson :)

    • Lauren says...

      Sames!

  131. Susan says...

    Hands down, my favorite cup of jo post ever!

  132. Cynthia says...

    Heart this so much. I confess that not only do I talk to my dog, but I have a certain voice that I use to speak on her behalf. So I’ll conduct an entire woman-dog conversation, playing both voices. I try to express all her personality quirks, love of bacon and wise thoughts. I also act as the dog’s mouthpiece to the rest of the family. This has become such a thing that sometimes when my son is annoyed at me speaking as the dog (like when I’m using my dog voice and nagging him to wake up in the morning), he gets mad and complains to her!

  133. Ciel says...

    My dog is only 5 and I frequently get sad thinking about when he will not longer be around and how I often take him for granted. But he is so amazing!

    On a completely unrelated note, can we talk about this paint color on the bedroom wall in the photograph? It is the color I have been looking for! Caroline, do you happen to know what it is?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      I do! It’s my living room, and the color is “Poppy Seed” by Behr.

  134. Calla Martyn says...

    love it! The best greeting card I have ever seen read the following

    “Loving this concept!”
    – God, creating dogs

    I think about this and laugh out loud at least once a day.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hahahaha, that is amazing.

  135. Becky says...

    This is my favorite thing that you have ever written.
    Thank you.

  136. Mel says...

    I might be crying an embarrassing amount right now. I recently quit my cubicle job (that I actually loved) for a work from home job and the #1 reason was to be home with my dog. And while I miss my human friends having my pup never more than 2 feet from me all day is a dream. When I’m excited I tell her, when i’m bummed I turn around and bury my head in her fur when I don’t know what to do with myself I ask her what we should do. Last night when my husband came to bed late she ran in and jumped on me as if she hadn’t seen me in ages and curled up in my arms. My favorite live stuffed toy.

    • Crystal says...

      You’re living the dream! I need a work from home job! 😊

  137. shade says...

    This made me tear up at the end. I miss my dog. <3

  138. Megan says...

    There is a scene in David Benioff’s book City of Thieves that describes how dogs were deployed during WWII. I wish I could unread it.

    ie, agreed about movies (and books) where violence against dogs triggers tears.

  139. Rachel says...

    Absolutely spot on. So well observed, so well described. Bravo, Caroline.

  140. Loved loved loved this.
    I agree about the dogs in movies . If I spot a dog in a movie, I have to make sure he/she is ok…only then I will even think about watching it. They better leave the dog alone.
    Dogs >>> Humans. Anyday.

  141. ML says...

    “There is no feeling better than the way you crash into my side, then slide down and curl up like a seashell, to get an aggressively close cuddle. ”

    This is the best part of my day – every night our dog starts at the end of the bed when we get in, when the lights go out he comes up to my side (pushing me into the middle) and crashes right down into with a big sigh so we can spoon for the night.

  142. Heather McMunigal says...

    I’m pretty sure I can’t read this or else I’ll be crying at my desk…. can anyone confirm or deny?

    I should note that I had a dream last night that I was hugging and hugging my old dog who is no longer with us.

    Yea I probably shouldn’t read this right now.

    • Cindy says...

      Yes, you should wait. Your intuition is correct.

  143. B says...

    Amen. I mean thank goodness for them, really. The antidote to loneliness, cold feet, and general malaise. A warm, furry smidge of sanity in a world that can be so bananas. I could scarcely improve by sweet brown dog if I tried. Except, like Caroline said, I think that she should live exactly as long as I do. I think they must be here in part to set a good example for us, honestly.

  144. sarah says...

    I have a 10-month old boxer puppy and reading this warmed my soul. It’s all SO TRUE. Even though puppies are a lot of work, it’s so worth it. I’ll often be stressed out from life stuff and she somehow manages to pull me out of it and bring me into the immediate present. My husband and I even let her sleep in our bed (even though we swore we wouldn’t let her do that) because she’s just so damn sweet and cuddly! Also have you noticed that dogs’ paws smell like fritos? It’s weirdly intoxicating.

    A funny thing about crying over dogs in movies — my daughter and I were watching the new Benji movie on Netflix a few weeks ago and were straight up ugly-crying by the end when Benji nearly dies. Even though he ended up being ok my daughter was like, “I’m never watching that movie again.” It was too much of an emotional rollercoaster!

  145. laura says...

    Thanks for this bright spot on a heavy day. Caroline is a dream to read.

  146. Audrey F says...

    and now I need to go home and hug my dogs. So sweet!

  147. “Gently used popcorn!” That’s exactly it. And their paws, which to me have always smelled like Fritos. Dog bless us.

    • Becky says...

      Omg yes! I always say our dog smells like a dorito! Shes a chronic licker! Anyone got a remedy for that? I dont mind the smell but geez her poor paws!

    • Betsie says...

      Yes, I always say our doggie smells like corn chips!

      Becky, chronic licking is often a sign of allergies (my sister is a vet). Ask your vet next visit about testing out some allergy strategies (often it’s grain or chicken!).

    • Carrie says...

      Becky, she may just needs a little bit of stimulation. Try taking her for walks/runs, or get her a fun chew toy. Or, if you bathe her even semi-frequently, maybe check that she’s not allergic to her soap :)

    • Becky says...

      Thank you for the suggestions! I will look into the chicken (she is grain free). we keep her pretty busy with exercise and she loves toys. We also do fish oil and have tried Zyrtec (vet’s suggestion). At this point, I think it is more habit than anything. Thank you!

  148. Jennifer says...

    Thank you for putting into words exactly what I would say to my dog. I will read it to her tonight :). Love your writing and look forward to what I am about to read when I open the blog and see your name in the post! Your columns always seem to resonate with me. Thank you.

  149. ABH says...

    “There is no feeling better than the way you crash into my side, then slide down and curl up like a seashell, to get an aggressively close cuddle. ”

    Nothing could be more true. I can actually feel my 7 pound forever puppy doing that right now, even as I sit here at my office without her!

  150. Kimberly says...

    Love this but I am compelled to ask- what exactly is “gently used popcorn”???

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      It is popcorn that has maybe fallen into your purse or the cracks of the sofa cushion and gets retrieved relatively quickly, but not so soon that it hasn’t lost some of its freshness. :)

    • Meg says...

      I loved this post so much but I think my very favorite part is your definition of gently used popcorn, Caroline. :)

      I grew up in a cat family & was always a little wary of dogs after a couple of jarring encounters as a kid. But my husband always had dogs growing up & he expanded my world & our family when we adopted one. And now I’m a total convert. While I still love kitties, I find myself fawning over every dog I meet walking down the street — I can’t help it! Dogs are the very best.