They fill our lives with love and companionship, and ask very little in return. Each of the dogs in our lives, and the current count is 5, is very different.
Stuart is my daughter Paige's dog. He is a Jack Russell terrier. He is treated as the first child of the family. Christmas cards include his name, and he of course has his own stocking. He has a crazy annoying habit of barking and spinning around in circles whenever he thinks someone is leaving. I guess he likes company of any kind. I think I saw Cesar Milan work with a dog that did that too, but we have no Cesar here. Stuart is also extremely tolerant. Little girls give him too tight hugs, and pull on his ears and he takes it all in stride.
The cute little pug is Henry. He is the baby of the group and belongs to my other daughter, Leann. He's been a really easy puppy, so far and just craves attention. Henry has been very good in dealing with little kids too. The only problem is when he gets excited and bumps into them, some of them can't keep their balance.
Maggie is the old dog of the current bunch. My daughters and I drove out to a farm about an hour away to get her as a puppy. She was a birthday surprise for my husband. Little did we know that she would turn out to be one vet visit after another. When she was little she apparantly had a serious infection of worms, but it was misdiagnosed at first and the "treatment" actually made it worse. Finally we switched vets to a really great, caring person who helped get her through it all. She's a beagle, so she has that loud beagle bark and a tendency toward being overweight. All in all, she's just a sweetheart who would be happy just laying around on the couch with you all day.
Redford is our first rescue dog. We got him when he was about a year old from the LaPorte Animal Shelter. They thought he was a Manchester Terrier mix. Other people have thought he looks like he is part Schniperke. I really couldn't say, but he definitely has that terrier personality. We had plans for him to be a truck dog and ride with my husband in the semi truck while he traveled across country. That plan fizzled when Redford turned out to be too energetic for that lifestyle. One time, he got out of the truck and ran off. It turns out, some guy had Redford in his fenced in yard and was holding him for ransom. 20 bucks and 20 minutes later, they were back on the road, but after that Redford came home to become "Mom's dog". He's really good except when he's around Stuart. As the only two male dogs in the clan, they do not get along....at all...so we keep them separated.
The last one you see is my Abby. She's My baby. She's our other rescue dog. I got her from the Buffalo Animal Shelter. She is half Maltese and half Beagle: a malteagle....or a beaglese....a real designer dog. She has had these long wisps of hair around her face since she was a puppy. We thought all her hair would grow long, like a Maltese, but no. Some is long. Some is short. Some is soft and some is sort of wiry. She's just a bit of a wack-o combination and her attitude matches it. I would have to say she reminds me of Odie in the Garfield cartoons. Both Redford and Abby follow me around wherever I go when I am at home. It's described as my little parade.
Each of these dogs has characteristics that are annoying at time. But each also offers tons of kisses and loves to cuddle. I can't imagine not having them in my life. When I've had a hard day, they are always there to remind me what is important in this life.
What is it about cats? Oh, that's another subject, for another day.
I hope you have some unconditional love in your life.