1. They don’t just not complain when I haven’t showered for three days straight, they prefer it.
2. They don’t connect being taken to the vet with something that I have control over; they save all anti-veterinary sentiment for the doctors themselves. (Even though I’m the one they’re looking at when they get their temperatures taken.)
3. No treat is too small or too boring or too familiar or too flavorless.
4. They share emotions and desires unselfconsciously and without pretense. When Maybe wants your attention, there’s no passive-aggressive, “Oh, uh… hey, what are you doing?” She goes straight for the paw at your face. Or when Uno is irritated that someone in the house won’t quit snuggling him when he’s just trying to get a few damn minutes of precious sleep, he lets out a low, guttural noise that sounds a lot like, “God, woman. Give it a rest.”
5. They like it when I sing!
6. Their capacity for enthusiastic reuniting is limitless. Especially Uno’s. You know those videos that went viral a few months ago — the ones where the soldier comes home after months abroad and his dog goes nuts with excitement? Uno makes that look like a handshake between a couple of Trappist monks. Doesn’t matter if I pick him up from the kennel after two hours or two weeks. His “you’ve come back!” dance is actually illegal in three states. (I don’t know what that means.)
7. I’m constantly — and I mean all the freakin’ time — saying the most cloying, hyper-affectionate crap to them, and in a doggie-voice so annoying even I roll my eyes. They love it.
8, They follow the sun. Whether it’s beaming in through the kitchen window or peeking around the patio door, Uno and Maybe find the bright spot and set up camp. Perhaps you should give that a try, My Brain.
9. They don’t keep track. If my top ten list quietly peters out after nine, they don’t act all, “what’s up with that?” In fact, they don’t expect anything I’m not capable of giving them. They’re grateful for what we do have, together in the moment, and they’re grateful all over again the next day.
Happy Thanksgiving, Uno and Maybe.