Since I can remember I have loved dogs — all shapes, sizes, genders — any canine with a cold wet nose, warm heart and pleading eyes speaks to my spirit in a way that few humans can. In my childhood home we always had a dog or two lying about, usually on my bed at night, tucked into my belly, my arms looped around its neck. Despite my face being bitten by a Husky that took umbrage at my 3-year-old self poking my finger into its ear canal, I have been smitten with all things dog-esque. As soon as I could afford a dog after college, I got a Samoyed who loved to run away, then watch me race after her. She, smiling, always loping ahead a few hundred feet; me, panting and swearing my way toward her. And so it has continued the last 23 years. A bone-shaped sign hangs in my office that reads, “The dog hair is free,” as most days I wander around with a patina of dog hair stuck on my clothes.