Dear Axel… The Language of DOG,

Dear Axel:

You had me the minute I saw your little black nose in the litter-pile: Olive eyes; patch of brown on your flank; one ear just a bit bigger than the other; a throaty growl that meant nothing more than “pick me.” I adore your lop-sided gaze, as though you look at the world from a different angle and the world is better for it. I pulled this page from a book of empty papers, determined to put words to the gift you are. You see, you couldn’t get to your feet this morning without a little help and I know, soon, I must help you move on to a greater adventure.


Dearest friend, you have allowed me to be your voice to the world and I thank you. Some believe it ridiculous to place words and feelings in the ruff package called dog. These men are deaf and blind, dogless even in a dog’s company. Those who speak for canines are your gods, though many, a bit misguided.

We may think a woeful dog regrets chewing up the Ferragamo. No, dog is depressed that the left shoe yet sits in its perfection just right of center in the closet. He laments that he’s been unsuccessful in getting the door open again. Dog is pouting not penitent.



Yet, our paraphrasing for you is a reflection of the feelings we know you have for us. People are dog’s closest friends. We know that to understand you fully, we must make you human. And, in dog’s humanity, you understand man better, no? You discern all that we are and are not. You appreciate us for our willingness to try to understand you; to love you for all that you are or are not.

Anthropomorphism is neither a sickness, superficial nor silly. It is vital to the steel bond between man and beast. It creates a common link, a loving relationship propelling this unity beyond master and mutt into the world of symbiosis, where the good of one depends on the good for the other. You give me love and I do my best to understand you, no matter the challenge.

In the end, on that final ride to the vet, windows down, aged nose resting on the sill, tattered ears flapping in the wind, you know me best. Even though my voice is mute behind a flood of tears. I have given you words, the language of love. And you have given me love, the language of the universe.

You are dog.
You are love.

And I am, forever, yours,


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