My eyelids flicker; something feels wet – what is that? As my mind wakens from a dead sleep, I feel something softly brush across my lashes. Once I reach full consciousness, I smile, as I understand that the soft carrasses across my lids are actually puppy kisses from Olivia.
My eyes open, and I am looking straight into her patiently waiting eyes. She is excited, as she knows it’s time to get up. Time to get out of bed, and go for a run…but first – belly rubs. She lays her little head on my shoulder, and snuggles in under my armpit. Rolling over, she shows her little pot belly and closes her eyes. I run my fingernails lightly across her belly, as she snorts with contentment.
I love my dog, and my dog loves me. Words alone cannot express the unconditional love that we share for each other. Her name is Olivia; she’s a three-year-old Jack Russell/Shih Tzu mix, and one heck of a snuggler. That is, when she’s not running cicles around the house and playing tug-a-war with her mousey.
This 10lbs of pure sweetness has me wrapped around her little paw. She’s there when I wake, and stays by my side until I leave for the day. I know she hears my car approaching at the end of the day, because she is patiently waiting on the other side of the door when I get home from work. Her tail wags with excitement, and I swear she is smiling from ear to ear. I can’t help but laugh at her adorable underbite; her not so menacing fangs almost reaching her little piggy nose. Oh how I love her.
Last night, she was chewing on her mousey on top of my stretched-out legs. This is her usual spot when I lounge on the couch to read a book or watch TV. I reached a sad part in my book, and I began to weep; this is Olivia’s que to leap up and comfort me. I don’t know if it’s the salt of the tears, or if she is trying to make me better, but she wipes away each and every teardrop with her miniture kisses. Her tender nature amazes me, and I am lucky that she is mine.
Of course there are days when I am tested on my “unconditional” love for her. Like when I find my brand new duvet covered in blue ink that has leaked out of a ballpoint pen, or I notice my favorate sweater is missing all of it’s buttons – suspicious. But… I can’t be mad (or stay mad) at her. I don’t have it in me. I am sure she feels the same way towards me when I leave her home all day, or when I won’t give her another treat when she’s clearly trying to shake a paw. But like me, she can’t stay mad for long.
I cannot imagine what my life would be like without Olivia. She is my companion and child at the same time. I share all of my secrets with her, and she doesn’t tell a soul. I love my dog, and my dog loves me. Unconditional is a dog’s love.