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To date, I've had four dogs that I've cared for as my own. Sammy, Honey, Harley Davidson, and Bourbon (Aka Burr, Aka Bitty, Aka Boo-bon). A Dachshund, a Golden Retriever, an Akita, and a Boxer. Generally, dogs make better friends than people. I figured out a lot of things with the help of my pets. It's been three years since I last had a dog in my home, but my Instagram feed is almost entirely pups, so I feel like I'm in touch. Doug the Pug is a pretty necessary factor in my life these days. Maybe especially in New York City, dogs are everywhere. When I run and bike the streets before sunrise, the only other people I encounter, are usually those walking dogs, or headed to a dog park. Craig Raine has a poem in this week's New Yorker: Bitch. I recommend listening to him read it. The poem is slightly silly, of course, but there's truth to how much calm a dog can bring: just watching what makes them content. Examining their ears and tails and tongues: it makes us content, too.