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All dogs are special. Dogs have a soul that shines through their eyes and draws you in closer. It lets you forgive them when they have an accident on the floor or chew your favorite shoe. Unconditional love is defined in one word-D-O-G.

I am not a cat person at all, and now both my children have cats. Did something go amiss in the gene pool that wired their brilliant brains to say, “Yes, let’s get a CAT?”

Then there is the Pug.

Just typing the word Pug makes me smile. The AKC explains that Pugs are “mischievous companions and adored by millions of fans around the world.” They continue to say, “Pugs live to love and to be loved in return.”

It has been a week since we had to say goodbye to our Pug Izzy. I cannot even type the words ‘put down’ or ‘put to sleep.’ It is just too heartbreaking. Izzy was with me all day and night. She was my office mate, my copy editor, my companion, A Hallmark Channel aficionado, and indeed a best friend. My heart is trying to heal to no avail, so after a week, I looked to the bright side for a solution. Be a Pug.

Why everyone should want to be a Pug.

A Great Dane is tall and majestic. A Greyhound is long, lean, and fast, but a Pug is who you want to be. A Pug knows who they are, and they are totally ok with it. They have runny noses and folds on their face. They are masters at passing gas, snore like a 185-pound old man, and let it all hang out. Did I mention that they love you more than anything? They love with their whole heart and soul. You want to be a Pug.

Pugs give way so much love, totally immune to the fact of how they look. At no time does a Pug ever say to themselves, “Wow, I am packing a couple of extra pounds on me and a few new rolls. I think I’ll go hide in my bed and feel bad about myself or how I look.” No. No, they don’t. They bound towards you, love you, stay with you.

Does this t-shirt make me look fat?

There is a sixth sense about them when they know when you need them. I don’t know how it works. I think all dogs have it. But, just like people, there is something in other dogs that prohibits them from letting it fly without thought or hesitation.

Izzy spent countless hours on the couch with us as we recovered from surgery, slept off the sweat of a cold, or healed a broken heart. She is not here to help me through this now, and it hurts.

Be a better human for Izzy.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I ask you to be a better human. Be thankful for your dog sleeping at your feet or hanging out with you in your office. Tell them you love them. They can hear you, and they understand.

Be kind to each other and love like a Pug. These are such challenging times, and I will now go through them without her. I am afraid. Izzy made watching the news a little less stressful. She was a sounding board and a soulful companion even though she never, and I mean never, kissed any of us. (except when Amelia put peanut butter on her nose to get Izzy to kiss her)

Be more like a Pug. Love with your whole heart and soul, and you will be rewarded in buckets. Jack said Izzy hugged you with her eyes. I believe Jack was right.

(A heartfelt thank you to the almost 200 kind thoughts posted on my Facebook post about Izzy.)

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