I've just finished reading Nicholas Sparks' book, The Lucky One. The dog in his book is much like the Irish Setter in my upcoming release. His dog is friendly, intelligent, and faithful to a fault, the kind of dog you want on your side when the going is tough.
Our current dog, a Queensland Healer, is an Australian cattle dog, usually a one-person dog. He drives us crazy with his quirky behavior. He's getting old, and we'll sorely miss him when he's no longer with us. He likes to crouch in front of us when we're watching TV. That's when he is happiest, when he has both of us under his watchful eye, but if one of us moves, he's on his feet, tail wagging, hoping we're going to do something exciting and take him along.
Now when I take him out now for his daily walk he's no longer aggressive, instead ignoring any dogs we pass. He is losing his eyesight and likes to can put his nose to the ground, discover all the delicious smells there, and read his mail.
The heart of a dog is so big, so forgiving, and we could learn a great deal from our pets.