Just recently I was dreadfully ill. It was terrible. I looked like one of those sad sacks you see in the Nyquil commercials with tissues balled up all around a ratty quilt; my face red and swollen; eyes watering and I moaned out “uuuuggghhh” a couple times every five minutes. While I (obviously) wasn’t able to do my job there was someone in the house still able to do theirs: my dog Rufus. His job? To love me. Easy, but not simple. There is a big difference.

Rufus as a baby

Rufus as a baby

Some dogs have pretty exhausting jobs. Border collies herd sheep. German Shepherds hunt drug dealers. Saint Bernards sniff out avalanche victims. Most of these dogs do their jobs pretty darn well in comparison to human standards. They don’t demand pay raises, engage in office politics, and leverage other offers to score more vacation days from their bosses. They do what they’re supposed to do without hesitation and for that they deserve nothing but praise from us.

Rufus has got a pretty cushy gig I must say. He’s got hobbies to keep him busy, like scaring the mailman, scaring little kids on Halloween, scaring blackbirds from the back yard (hmmmm, I’m just now realizing his hobbies share a common theme centered around inciting fear). He loves to scare things when he has the free time, but when he’s on the clock all he has to do is love me. And let me tell you, he does his job remarkably well. He’s right by my side while I work and offers an ear whenever I have to curse at my computer screen. Each time I leave the house and return, he greets me at the door with a frantically wagging stub of a tail that lets me know that in his mind there’s no difference in whether I’m gone for 8 hours or 5 minutes (seriously Rufus….I was just getting something out of the car!).

Rufus while I work

Rufus while I work

But Rufus isn’t just a warm drooling body to have by my side and look cute. He’s also very emotionally intuitive. He knows when I’m sad and changes his behavior to accommodate my mood. For instance, I swear he notices when I tear up during a sad movie because he’ll saunter over with those huge dark eyes of his and rest his head lovingly on my lap. If I heavy sigh, he immediately jumps up to search for the culprit behind my exasperation (usually a cat). He knows when I’m sick… and in turn he poises himself to launch an attack against whatever demon might erupt from my nose whenever I sneeze. He always rushes along beside me whenever I need to venture into the scary recesses of the bathroom. I don’t have to be afraid of whatever may be lurking there as I do my business or shower… he’s got it covered. If he’s not on the bed sleeping at night, he’s beside it or under it and if he hears me sit up, he’s immediately at the ready to follow me wherever I might be headed… whether it’s to the aforementioned danger filled bathroom or simply a quick trip to the kitchen for a glass of water — he’s got my back.

And that bout of sickness I talked about at the beginning of this entry… he never left my side the entire time, bless his ever-loving little heart. I knew he was getting a little cabin fever and wanted to do a blackbird sweep but, still, he was always right there in bed with me while I felt like death warmed over.

My kids laugh at me because of how much I spoil and dote over Rufus, but wouldn’t you? He does his job so damn well.  And let’s face it, unconditional love is a fantastic rarity and whenever we have the chance to experience it, we should never take it for granted. Even if it sometimes comes with fleas.

Rufus cropped


10 thoughts on “Rufus

  1. Love this so much! I feel the way about my fur babies. My husband playfully teases me because of the way I talk and spoil them, my kiddos accuse ms of loving my fur babies more than them, but in all reality it is an unconditional love. No judgements, just pure love. In today’s world, sometimes we just need that pure love!

    • Thank you! You’re absolutely right, dogs give us an unconditional love in the sincerest form. I heard a trainer once say (with a rescue that I was working with) that dogs are self centered and when they “appear to show love” or do anything, it is for an ulterior motive only and that ulterior motive is to benefit THEM. In other words, everything they do (whether it’s tricks or any behavior at all really) is based on the concept that it benefits them somehow to do it, so they do it. If it didn’t benefit them, they wouldn’t do it. I don’t find that to be true, at all. Dogs will rescue humans…their owners, I mean. What’s in for them other than love? I’ve seen a dog rescue a cat from a burning building…seriously what’s in it for the dog to risk his life like that other than he loved the cat and was bonded with the cat? I respected the trainer’s expertise at helping abused dogs (she was great) but I really did not agree with her that dogs are unemotional, self serving creatures. Now humans….I can see humans being that way. LOL

  2. Awwwwww, how cute! he looks adorable, and I loved how you wrote about him. Dogs are precious, they are the best companions, and their love for you just spills over…. there is nothing better than a dog that loves you…

    PS. I sure hope you get better soon, we’d like you all healthy you know!

  3. Rufus, you are adorable! Not sure you’re big enough to be classified as a full-fledged dog…but definitely adorable. Great job looking after your sick Mommy! 🙂

      • Of course not! ALL Yorkies are thoroughly convinced of their enormous size, superb combat skills and utter ferociousness! Lol.

        My parents always had a Yorkie, usually retired breeding females. Their last one was four pounds of toothless fury, for all of her 18 years. She also supplanted my mother as the number one wife. 🙂 Which looked every bit as ridiculous as it sounds when my 6 foot father took her for walks…

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