It's pretty much the accepted wisdom among one's friends that if one is childless and has animals, the animals are child-substitutes. Actually, although there were parallels when he was a pup, since he was more dependent and needed training, my adult dog is more like a friend -- albeit one I have to feed daily and let outside to poop. We've been hiking, mountain biking, to the beach, the city, the pizzeria, etc. He's up for anything, even if it means sitting in the car waiting while I'm in the bookstore.
He does like to sniff books. I imagine he thinks I am into flat, rectangular sticks, while he prefers the conventional, long, round ones. Now that he's well past lap-size, he no longer inserts himself between my eyes and the page.
Click here for fun dog book. According to NPR, more U.S. households include dogs than kids.
"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield