I have never had a dog. Growing up we were not a pet family. The closest I got was the summer my brother surprised me for my 14 birthday with a little yellow cat I named Garfield. Two months later he was gone. I cried, a lot.
Later, as an adult with my own apartment, it one day dawned on me that I could have a pet if I wanted one. So I got two cats, Phoenix first, then Harley. I loved them.
It was wonderful having those two little furry creatures around. Opening the front door after a long day, they were always there to greet me, and to remind me that nothing is more important than the relationships one has with living things. And yes, that includes cats and dogs. Their wide loving gaze satisfied by a pat on the head, or a rub of the belly reminds us to appreciate the simple things.
Phoenix and Harley are gone, but now there is Penny, a sweet little Vizsla with long spindly legs and unbelievably floppy ears. She demands my love and attention, and in return she makes me smile every day and never fails in reminding me what's important in life. Love.