Having a dog has been good for me.

Better than I could have imagined.

Lumi is a great companion: amusing, patient, loving, easy-going.

She has made me laugh more in the last 6 months than anything else has.

She has grounded me: she has made me want to travel less, restricted my options which has been a blessing, in my world with endless possibilities. It turns out fewer options ≠ less awesome options, just less stress in deciding which options to pursue.

She has made me more present. Sometimes my favourite moments of the day are when we cuddle while lying on the grass, and then she goes limp on me as she relaxes and decides I’m her bed, and I can do nothing else but sit and contemplate how soothing the presence of her little body feels.

Or when I observe her sitting outside enchanted by a butterfly, or spasming gently as she dreams in her sleep.

When she wants to pee, or just smell something inexplicably appealing, I have no option but to pause myself, and take in my surroundings as I wait. I notice birdsong, and the wind, and the glory of just being.

We try to communicate with each other, and as we don’t speak each other’s native language, we need to communicate using tone, facial expression, consistent behaviours, and touch. It has taught me to think about the message I want to convey, and how to express it in ways that someone other than myself can unambiguously understand.

She has shown me I do have maternal cravings and instincts, which I sometimes doubted. Now I just need to conclude if she has satisfied those urges or whether she has made me sure I do want a family.

She has made me feel sheer love: open, true, intense love. And I know in her own shy, awkward, timid, canine way, she loves me too.