Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses

“Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor

This quote by Elizabeth Taylor made me smile. How many of us can relate to those words?

Being loved by a dog is unconditional and they are better companions than most people. Life is full of celebrations as well as challenges and dogs are loyal in both good and bad times. Having a dog as part of your family is a bond only a true dog lover can understand. And if you have more than one dog the relationship with each dog is different.

My friend Gloria has ten dogs and lives on an Eco farm in Malta. Most of us don’t have the space or time to have a pack of ten dogs. I often visit and I am intrigued how she has a unique relationship with each one. Watching her interact with each one, and the order of favours she grants them, and how they respond has taught me so much.

1) They are loyal. We laugh when she says that – unlike children or men – they don’t leave. When you love your dog and your dog loves you, that love is forever. There is no breaking up and ending the relationship with a dog. A dog does not ask you to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. A dog does not wake up one morning having lost the loving feeling for you. You have a loyal friend for life and as long as your dog is alive they will love you.

2) They don’t judge. They never correct you in any situation or judge you. They don’t say that I told you so.

3) They are charmers. When you have a visitor who doesn’t like dogs they will lie by their feet or nudge them and try to interact with them to win them over. Often their skills to charm the unsuspecting visitor work.

4) They comfort you. When you are sad they just know. They give you the support and extra love you need when you are going through an emotionally challenging time.

5) They are never in a bad mood. They wake up happy and ready to start each new dag as a new adventure. We can learn a lot from them.

6) They are always ready to do what makes you happy. If you want to sleep in they are there. And if you want to go for a walk or run they want to do it with you. Even friends or partners don’t each and every time you want to do something be willing to do it with you.

7) They feel guilty. Have you seen the look on their face when they have done something mischievous like helping themselves to the roast chicken on the table? Before you even say a word you can see they did it?

8) They protect you. Dogs are protective of us in all situations. If someone they don’t know arrives they make their presence known. If you are sad or down they will come to comfort and protect you as they can feel if you are feeling vulnerable.

9) They love you unconditionally. Even if you are in a bad mood or shout at them they never get upset. Treat them with kindness, always.

10) They just want love. Dogs always want affection and come over for a cuddle or a pat on the head. They want to feel love and to give so much love. Dogs are love.

“Dogs are like children but unlike children they will not leave you when they grow up with a hole in your heart and in your pocket.” ~ Gloria Camilleri