My best friend is a dog, and I couldn’t be happier.

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There’s an age old saying that dogs are a man’s best friend, and I couldn’t agree more. Who needs human interaction and conversation, when there is an abundance of furry-faced creatures on earth ready to love you every single minute of every single day? I for one would be happier in a society where dogs are allowed to come grocery shopping with you (and taste test their food before you spend a fortune), or come to the hairdresser with you so you have something to pat instead of looking through trashy magazines. I know our gorgeous dachshund Audrey would love to come to the movies with me, curl up on a chair and nap in the darkness. At least I wouldn’t get judged for going alone seeing as I have approximately one friend left in my hometown at the moment, a new mum who doesn’t really have much time for nights at the cinema.

Seriously though – on my days off when someone asks me what I’ve got planned, the answer is usually ‘Oh I’ll just be hanging out with the puppy.’ This normally involves a sleep in and snuggles, lots of licking (on her behalf), lots of tickling (on my behalf), and generally just staring at each other wondering what the other is thinking. Then we’ll have a cup of tea under a blanket on the couch, typically followed by a mid-morning nap. Afternoons are usually spent together down at the beach jogging, looking for interesting shells and just enjoying the fresh air. Sunsets with her at the beach will forever hold a special place in my heart, both of us happy and content in the moment. Once a week or so I’ll subject the poor darling to a warm shower and shampoo so she doesn’t get too sandy, and even though she appears to hate it, I’m positive she’s thankful for feeling fresh once she’s dried off.

I honestly don’t care if it’s not normal to hang out with a dog so much or spend so much time thinking about them. It’s hardly an effort to ensure she has a happy life, in comparison to the joy she’s given me. On days where I literally don’t feel like talking to anyone, I’ll just lay in bed with her kissing her warm little belly and that’s about as comforting as life can get. I don’t think much compares to the endless amount of love that dogs can bring to your life, and when you get home and see their tails shaking around with pure joy – that’s precious.

” A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose ”

(Tom Wilson).

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Photo credits – anthropologie & folkgreen

And they called it puppy love…

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I must admit, I’ve been totally and completely converted into a dog person in a matter of weeks thanks to the addition of @audrey_the_sausage (follow her on instagram!) to our family. The cutest and cuddliest chocolate dachshund you ever did see, she arrived into my life at exactly the right time and I’m ever so grateful.

For years I’ve been all about the cats, the fluffy ones with huge eyes who just gaze at you and purr… who massage your tummy when you’re trying to sleep…. Yes, I still love them. But I didn’t quite realise my heart would explode with love for dear Audrey, who often leaves a puddle on the floor from excitement at seeing you each day. If that isn’t love then I don’t know what is.

Growing up I was always too concerned about getting dog saliva or hair all over me to take notice of the gorgeous bundles of joy that I’ve now come to love. SO glad I’ve gotten over that, I’ll now happily roll around on the floor with Audrey and appreciate snuggles 24/7. I love all her moods, especially sleepy Audrey. Her eyes can barely stay open so I just sit there holding her little paw, singing to her like a newborn child. Catholic hymns are my go to! WTF has happened to me?

For years, studies have shown the benefits to humans of having animals in their life; simply patting a dog is known to increase your endorphins. And how could anyone say that we don’t bring joy to their lives? When I see Audrey almost wriggle out of her skin with happiness in the morning, I just know that is pure joy. Recently I watched a documentary on dogs who are bred into fighting pits, absolutely gut-wrenching viewing (The Champions – available on Netflix). Most states in the US have a law where any dogs rescued from such fighting pits are put down out of fear for society. There are however, a handful of wonderful organisations dedicated to rehabilitating these dogs into loving family homes which is fantastic to see.

I could write for hours about how full my heart is after meeting Audrey, but I think the most important thing to note is that we should cherish these human/animal relationships for as long as they last. Treat all animals with respect and love, and they will return it to you tenfold.

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Photo credit – earthspirit