“That” Dog


“That” dog is the one who has touched your heart in ways that other dogs haven’t.

I have had many dogs throughout my life. I’ve loved them all, for different reasons, but there’s one dog, Stella, who is currently part of our family, who is “that” dog for me.

When I was a young girl, we used to give our dogs a bath by hosing them off outside. I think about that now and think how cold the dogs must have been. I mean, water from the hose? And what if there was a breeze blowing?  On the contrary, Stella has grooming appointments every 6 weeks, where she gets a nice warm bath and a hair cut.

I think my parents would have looked at me like I was insane if I had suggested taking any of our family dog(s) to the doggie dentist, but Stella gets her teeth cleaned on a regular basis, as often as I do, in all honesty.

I have cooked special dog-approved meals for Stella, because she likes them better than store-bought dog food, even though cooking isn’t anywhere in my wheelhouse of interests.

She sleeps with my husband and I at night, scooting under the covers, and curling up in the crook of my bent knees. I never thought I would allow a dog to sleep with us. But, she’s “that” dog.

She also has a way of sitting with her front legs turned out that is so fabulously cute that it makes both my husband and I laugh when she sits like that. Every. Single. Time.

What makes “that” dog so special isn’t just their adorable face or playful antics. It’s the way they become woven into the fabric of our daily routines, enriching our lives in ways we never thought possible.

Stella dictates when I interrupt my work to give her a snack, take her on a walk, or set up her sunbathing spot. She waits patiently when my husband eats a cookie, because she knows she’s going to get the last bite. She curls up next to me when we are watching television, or rolls over on her back inviting me to rub her belly by either continually staring at me, nudging my hand, or wiggling just a little bit as if to say, “Hey, I’m here, waiting….” At the end of the evening, when the television remote is set down on the table with a soft thud, Stella jumps up like she’s a fire-station dog that has been called to a fire, because she knows it’s bedtime. Stella, as with most Bichons, is mostly devoted to one person (me!). When I leave the house for the day, she sits in a chair, looking out the window, watching for my return. Whether it’s 20 minutes or 20 days, she will sit there waiting.

There’s nothing quite like the bond between  “that” dog and their human—it’s a bond that can make you happy when you’re feeling a bit down, comforted when you’re feeling a bit lonely, peaceful when you’re feeling anxious. Did you know that just petting your dog releases oxytocin in your body, the hormone that promotes relaxation?

I was reflecting on this subject today because of a short video I watched this morning, where Jon Stewart of The Daily Show talks about “that” dog for him.

I hope you will watch it too. It is incredibly touching.

If you are a dog person,  I hope you have found “that” dog for you.


Stella, or sometimes affectionately called “Stella-girl”







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