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  • Obviously, I love my dog. I named her Lucky because I knew she would get as much love as I could humanly give her; both as affection and discipline.

    We've gone through a move together - two different states. She's bit me, like I knew she would, when I had to pick her up off of her hurt leg. We've defended each other; I against some other animals, her against anyone who dares tickle me and makes me scream. I've been there for vet visits and the like. She's been there licking away my tears when my heart's breaking and I'm clinging to her warm fur. Some mornings the first order of business is to wrestle and tickle before getting up to do anything. If I have errands I can ask if she wants to go on a car ride and she starts wiggling all over. The photo is of her ready to go in my '97 Thunderbird; I had to get a picture because we love going on car rides together. With the windows rolled down, sun roof open and the radio playing she's happy to sit and stare at me or out the window with that giant grin on her face.

    And, obviously, a dog wont really understand when you say, "I love you." We could debate about a canine's ability to learn words and meanings but the average dog doesn't understand the phrase - hell, I don't think I've even met a human that really does. But, they do understand your tone of voice - and giving a treat just because, and calling them over just to give them a belly rub and sitting down next to them to play with them. Most dogs know what "good dog" means though.

    You say that, and you'll get a reaction. Anything from a longing glance to their whole body being jolted with excitement, which is what Lucky does. I think in a way, "good dog" means "I love you" for them. So, when she's doing nothing at all but something like laying next to me, I like to tell her that she's a good dog. She'll twitch as if racked with happiness and that little tail starts drumming against the mattress. I think she gets it.
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