These are my dogs.
I love them so much that there are really no words. And I always have words.
They were both rescued. Charlie, on the left, has been with us for 13 years since someone abandoned him as a puppy on a busy street. He is an old boy, mostly given to sleeping under various blankets unless there is food to be stolen. If there is food, he becomes the sprightliest of mountain goats, jumping onto table tops in order to snatch a crust of grilled cheese or a piece of carrot with a dab of hummus.
Guinevere has been with us for just over a year; someone owned her, trained her and loved her but couldn’t keep her when they lost their home. She is a miracle of love, a giantess who can is ecstatic to see me when I’ve only been gone for 20 minutes, and trusts me with her squeaky skunk.
All animals, all creatures should be loved the way we love these dogs. When I saw pictures of Chicago shelter dogs as they headed home with new owners. I cried. I cried because I knew that there was joy ahead for them, and I cried for all of the dogs and cats who remain in cages, maybe able to bear hard surfaces and confined spaces but bereft without anyone to lick, snuggle, protect and enchant.
For more pictures like these, visit Heather Owen’s blog, “Shelter Freedom Rides.”
Now go and hug your dog, and promise me that if you are even thinking about getting a dog you will adopt from a shelter. Because no one else will ever love you like your dog, even if you lose all your money or your hair or you accidentally copy your boss on the e-mail about what an idiot he is.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum