This is a shot taken around midnight in my garden, with the camera pointed at the back door. What you might not notice is the shadowy figure in the lower right: Misty, my 9 year old Rottweiler-mix rescue doggie.
Misty and her sister Molly are in many of my pictures. Sometimes they ham it up for the camera. Sometimes they acquiesce to my silly need to photograph them in all matter of undignified positions -- belly up napping or wearing one of my daughter's doll hats. Sometimes they sneak into a shot, invariably making it better.
Dogs do that to you. They sneak up on your life and invariably make it better.
My sister Judy lost her beloved dog Summer yesterday. Dog lovers know there are no words to adequately express sympathy for the loss of a furry best friend. When Elizabeth Barrett Browning lost her own dog, she wrote a line that has always summed it up for me:
"His ears were often the first thing to catch my tears."
Why do pets live so few years and how can they manage to pack so much love and joy into such a short period of time? Like Judy said today, if there is a heaven, then it must be filled with dogs.