Put the screen away for ten minutes and go and sit with your dog. Ask him gently how he is feeling then look for those tiny expressions as he answers you. Speak to him as the friend that he is. Rub the spots on his body that he likes you to rub the most, but only if he asks you to.

If he brings you a toy, play. Or discuss the toy with him, like he has fetched you the most precious thing in the world. Look for his smile and turn it into a laugh. Laugh with him. Ask him how you can help him to be happy, relax and be fulfilled.

If he offers a behaviour, say thank you. If he doesn’t just thank him anyway, for his constant devotion, for being your friend, unquestioningly and unconditionally. Thank him and thank yourself for being so over-awed by the love of one small individual from a totally different species.

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