benison \běn’ĭ-zən, -sən\

a blessing; benediction

I have a story behind my photo this week. I wrote in a journal a few months ago about my dog, and I thought I would share the greatest blessing in my life so far. It may seem corny, but rest assured I am not one of those dog owners who dresses my dog up in ridiculous costumes and buys him gourmet dog treats. He eats Pedigree and has a blue collar. Moving on…

“The person I love most in this world isn’t even a person. His name is Indy. And he’s my dog.

I fell in love with him on one of my regular visits to the local animal shelter. There was a long row of dogs in large crates. All of them were barking and jumping and whining–save for one.

Back then his name was Frederick. He was at the very end of the row, lying on a ratty old pillow, staring at me with those big beautiful brown eyes. He looked exhausted, sad. I immediately fell in love.

I had always had a dog growing up, but that dog was never mine. She was my mother’s. And I didn’t mind much because my mother needed her most. But when I found Indy I had been looking for a best friend and companion. Someone who wouldn’t make me sad or depressed or any number of negative emotions. Someone who would always be excited to see me and someone who would help make my big empty bed a little more warm and cozy at night.

I knew immediately that I would be adopting that dog–and changing his name. When I came back we played in a small room. His shaggy fur is a beautiful sandy color. The tips of his paws are white, as is his chest and just one side of his muzzle. He has big floppy ears and large jowls he inherited from his spaniel ancestors. But those eyes could only belong to a retriever.

It was only when I took him home and found out how amazingly well house-trained he was and how lazy he could truly be that I knew he was the perfect dog. Granted, there were the initial first few weeks where I questioned whether or not I was truly ready for the responsibility. But even after all the chewing and general naughtyness, it was the moments lying on the couch together, or in bed, where he would flop against me and heave a great sigh where we both knew exactly who loved us and where we were meant to be–with each other.”