By Joseph J. Mazzella • February 14, 2019

My family doesn't own a camera anymore. My daughter takes all of our pictures with her smart phone. Knowing that her Dad is still "old school" she will from time to time run off prints of these pictures and let my son put them in an old fashioned photo album. They made me one just the other day. As I was looking through it, however, I noticed something. Far outnumbering the pictures of me, my daughter, my sons, and our extended family were the pictures of our dogs. It seemed like almost every page was full of happy, furry faces. It made my heart smile as I flipped through them. It made me glad to know that I have lived most of my life in the company of dogs.

What is it about dogs? We allow them on our couches and even in our beds. We clean up after them when we take them for walks. We vacuum up their fur. We wipe off their drool. We tolerate their bad breath. We pay vet bills and buy new shoes when they chew up our old ones. We enjoy their slurps and snuggles. We feed them our food when they don't want to eat theirs. We talk to them and hug them and confide in them. We welcome them into our homes and into our hearts. Why do we love them so?

Maybe it is because they love us so. Their love and loyalty are unconditional. They accept us as we are and want to spend all of their days with us. They cry and howl when we leave home and jump for joy when we return. They shower us with love, attention, and affection whether we deserve it or not. They make us want to be the people they already think we are. They are and forever will be a glorious gift from our Heavenly Father. May we always cherish them and embrace the lessons they teach. May we all learn to love as freely and unconditionally. May we all make our lives a gift of joy just as they do.


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