As I've mentioned before, our dogs have taken a hit since the birth of our children. I know this must happen in a lot of families, and that it is in some ways unavoidable, but it still makes me sad sometimes. Not that their lives are tragic or anything, just that after we've eaten dinner and put the kids to bed and are just absolutely exhausted and longing for the couch, and I know that they'd like nothing more than a nice walk, well, a lot of the time the couch wins. I was at the vet this morning forking over the entirety of our financial savings getting the dogs their annual checkups and shots, and was amazed by this one vet tech we've seen numerous times and the overwhelming amount of positive energy he devotes to each and every dog. I was amazed because I know he has two kids - we've talked about it before - and he still has the reserves to tell Mina what a wonderful girl she is, over and over again, while stroking her lovingly. Meanwhile, the most I can do, thanks to Gabe's 5:30 a.m. wakeup, is halfheartedly pet her on the head as she's getting her blood drawn, thinking, "But here's the thing. She's not a wonderful girl."

Truthfully though - as I'm starting to realize about much of our life right now - this is just a blip. Our dogs have had good lives and, although I know they could do with a few more long walks and less expletives directed at them when they demand things of us - say, water - they will continue to have good lives. In fact, as the kids get older, their lives will get even better. Just the other day, for instance, Nora told me she wants to take Mina swimming at the beach this weekend. I could take CeeCee, she explained. She doesn't like Cecilia, which completely defies reason but sort of makes sense if you know Nora.

Also, every once in awhile I am reminded of how absolutely loving, loyal and hilarious dogs really are. And it always prompts me to give my own dogs a little more affection at the end of the day.

Denver the guilty dog was one of those moments for me. Somehow I just saw this video for the first time. My friend Abby shared it with me the other day, although I guess it's been around a long time. But it reminded of how happy I am that dogs exist, and that as crazy as life sometimes is because of them, I feel very lucky to share our roof with two of these glorious creatures.