When I was a kid there was a magical component to my life.  His name was “Laddie” and he was a full sized collie dog that patrolled our yard, kept outsiders honest, and provided endless hours of comfort and friendship to my brother and I.  He could have been called “Lassie” since he looked like the television star of the day, but that would have caused all kinds of gender issues.  (BTW, if memory serves me correctly, wasn’t the “Lassie” of television fame actually a male?)

Our dog slept outside just next to the back door.  He usually crawled into a corner tucked away under the back porch but would bolt to readiness the moment he heard the door latch being opened.  And when he recognized you coming through the door his tail would start wagging.  He liked his ears rubbed and would cock his head when you came by inviting you to enter into contact.  If you wanted to talk he would lie next to you listening without interrupting while patiently scanning the horizons for potential intruders or interruptions (see above photo).  He listened.

Who listens to you today?