When she goes to a Memorial Service.  With a heavy heart, I walked into the chapel for my oldest friend’s Memorial Service and looking at the faces of the other people who had arrived early, I told Sky, my service dog, she could kiss and comfort anyone who needed her.  And so she did, understanding the precise meaning of what I had said, she slipped under the hands of one, put her paws on the lap of another, poked here, kissed there, lying down quietly in between.  Some reached out for her.  Some were surprised and then pleased when she elected on her own to offer comfort.  When friends and family spoke, sharing stories about my dear friend, Nini, there was applause as each finished and Sky barked along with the clapping.  Everything she did, including that, seemed appropriate, even kind, including the way she curled herself onto my lap for the long ride home.

I never needed a study to tell me that dogs feel emotions deeply, that they think, make decisions, are capable of kindness.  I’m sure you feel the same way.  I love you, Nini.  I always will.