Kahu lies down beside this big boy and strokes my back with tender loving care. I heard that phrase used on one of Kahu’s Spaghetti Westerns and liked the rhythm of the words and the meaning melts this Mastiff’s heart. It describes the way my Kahu feels about me. ‘’Tender loving care’ floats inside my headspace and adds to the bliss I’m already feeling despite the ducklings peering underneath my tail where no one but the annoying vet has ever gone before.

“How’s my boy?” Kahu says and keeps stroking me in his gentle fashion. I remember when he booked us for a massage at the local spa and thought it would be fun lying on skinny tables next to each other and have two men-hulks pummel the life out of us. They kept talking about Kahu’s knots and asking me if I liked it gentle or rough. Thought he sounded similar to one of those hookers who moonlight at massage parlors pretending to be certified in the art of myofascial release designed to get the kinks out of a stiff body.

I lick the side of Kahu’s face with affection and wrap my paw around his neck to let him know he’s my one and only. We smile at each other. Yes, Yours Truly can grin when necessary, although I don’t believe it becomes a dignified dog to be splashing smiles all over the place.

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