by ASHLEY PRESTON, Staff Writer

Can you think of a friend that is always excited to see you, even when you just saw them 10 minutes ago? I’m not sure I could think of a human, but one kind of friend comes to mind-dogs. Whether you’ve been gone for a week, or simply just ran to the grocery store, a dog’s welcome home makes it seem like you’ve been gone for years. With a wagging tail and barks of excitement, a dog offers a friendship that no one else can.Pfote

Sure, you can’t go shopping at the mall or out to eat together, but you can go for walks, spend days at the park and occupy the couch with snuggles on Sunday afternoons. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, those walks in the sunshine and lazy days can be some of the more important days — the time you get to reflect. Don’t get me wrong, adventures with family and friends come out to be some of the best memories you can make, but there’s something special about the way a dog is there for you.

There are times when all you want is to plop on the sofa, watch cheesy Lifetime movies and eat even cheesier pizza (alright, maybe that’s just me). But your dog doesn’t judge the calories you’re consuming by the minute. Instead, he awaits his piece of the crust.

Other times, you’re ready to start your “fit plan” and go on a nice long jog. Although he knows you’ll stick to this plan not a day longer than a month, the excitement and eagerness to participate when asked, “do you want to go for a walk?” is never empty.

Most importantly, a dog doesn’t care how much money you have, how much you weigh, what you did in your past, or where you call home. He doesn’t care if your hair is a little messy or that you come home and sometimes forget to give him a pat because you’ve had the longest day. He doesn’t even care that he eats the same food every single day (well, unless it’s a cheesy pizza night).

A dog is the one entity that will never doubt you, judge you or wish you were different. He loves you for who you are simply because you let him become a part of you.

I believe God put dogs here to show us that words don’t make a friendship, but rather, actions do. He made their lives shorter than ours to remind us to appreciate such friendships before it’s too late. Dogs are a gift in the most humble form. We must love them, cherish them and learn from their hearts.