My dog, Sandy, has been with me almost my entire life and has ultimately made my life better.

1. My dog is always excited to see me.

I could leave the room for five minutes, and when I return, he acts like he hasn't seen me in years. He will automatically sniff me and kiss me and it just warms my heart. He makes me feel loved and wanted so when I have to leave him, it hurts my heart.

2. My dog can sense my moods.

Dogs can tell when you're sad, and they know how to cheer you up just by being next to you. I could be having the worst day of my life where I'm angry or upset. The next thing I know, there will be a furry tail in my face and then a little button nose will sniff me and kiss my face.

He can make me smile just by being next to me. Even when I am sick and not feeling well, he acts as my nurse and will simply sit with me and protect me.

3. I always feel protected when he is around.

He feels it is his duty to protect the family as a guard dog. He makes me feel like no one can harm me, even though he is a tiny little thing that can't do much damage. It's the thought that really counts, and I know he would do anything to keep me and my family safe.

He's very protective of our family. Even though he's older now and is not so good at guarding the house or barking when someone comes home, he tries so hard and thinks he's really good at his job, and for that, I am grateful.

4. I have my own personal therapy dog.

No matter what is going on in my life or how I am feeling, he is always right by my side. He'll just let me pet him or he will give me hundreds of kisses. Just hugging him makes me feel better.

I feel calm when he lays down with me. I'll be sitting on the floor and he will come over to sit next to me or rest his chin on my leg. Just his presence is comforting.

5. My existence is enough for him.

He doesn't need much in life. Just some cheese, a place to sleep, and his family. I love coming home and knowing that there is a little guy waiting there to see me, to play with me, and to cuddle with me. That is all he needs to be happy, which makes me happy.

6. I will always have a loyal friend.

I have had him since I was two years old, so he has grown up with me. He has been with me through it all and he's my security blanket. I know I can trust him to always protect me and never harm me.

Even when I was younger, I would fall asleep on the floor and Sandy would gently remove the scrunchie out of my hair without hurting me or waking me up. He's always been so gentle and sweet towards me.

7. He acts as a pair of slippers, a pillow, and a blanket.

He's a small body of warmth, but he is always willing to warm everyone else up. He is very soft and easy to cuddle with. I love the way he acts as my own personal slippers as he likes to sit on my feet. He's just a little baby who wants to cuddle and sleep all day.

8. He always makes me laugh.

No matter what he does, he makes me laugh and smile. Just looking at his small, cute face makes my day. It makes me happy when he rolls around on the floor and wants someone to scratch his ears. He makes me smile because he always thinks you have a treat or a snack for him.

Just listening to him walk down the hallway with his little paws making the tiniest little clicking noises on the floor, plus the jingles of his collar, cracks me up. You always know when he is about to enter a room. He sure knows how to make an entrance.

It is crazy how much I love my dog, but he is family to me and I would do anything for him.