This made me just awfully happy.
On his blog, Jon Katz describes Lenore as "relentlessly loving." I love that description. I think I will aspire to be relentlessly loving.
Granted, Lenore is a dog, and a Lab puppy no less, and pups of the Lab persuasion are sort of known for loving (and playing, and slobbering, and pleading for bites of your ice cream) without any relenting anywhere in sight. Dogs get a bad rap for being so unfailingly, aggressively affectionate; for loving you even after you've failed to take them to the park for a couple of days in a row or have refused to share your pizza with them. We humans, in our anxiety to avoid being characterized as lame, confuse devotion with doormat-ness.
I think that maybe, though, we could all learn something from dogs. We should all love relentlessly. Day in and day out, we should love everybody around us with canine ferocity. We should love them when they are cranky and no fun to be around as much as we love them when they remember our favorite kind of pie. We should love them with enthusiasm like a big sloppy tongue. Maybe we should reconsider the presumed superiority of our species. Maybe being doglike is one step closer to enlightenment, and not the other way around.
Toby, approaching nirvana: