I change my mind about my favorite things the Rev does every time he does something different. That’s how love is, sometimes. Currently – that is, in the last five minutes – my favorite thing is how he runs when he’s looking up, chasing away birds from the no-fly zone he’s established around our garden.

He has his head tipped back, all the better to bark in the correct direction. And he’s running, but in a very stylized way, in that he is basically jumping up and down, all four tiny paws off the ground simultaneously, but coincidentally and somewhat miraculously, being propelled forward at the same time.

I can watch that for as long as he can do it. Which, sometimes, depending on the feistiness of the local bird population, can be quite some time.

Loving Jordan takes longer and a little more effort. She will try to rip the nose from your face at first, right before she breaks your heart as she curls, stiff and careful, into your lap. John Henry insists on short bursts of attention and then settles a little distance away, chewing on something hard and noisy so you know he’s still there. Jordan, in her more active moments, bounds onto your lap, lands wherever will create the most pain for you, and then head-butts your hand until you use it for what it has evolved to do: stroking the top of her head a million times.

I wasn’t a dog person until these two came along. Sure, I liked dogs, but I didn’t appreciate dogs. After these two, I want to step away from what I laughingly refer to as my career, set up a retirement home for old pugs, and spend my days being happier than it might be legal to be. My wife would have to be the sole breadwinner, unless I can negotiate sponsorships, maybe a book deal, or a show on a local cable channel. All things are possible when you’re sufficiently motivated.

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