I was never a dog person until I got one (the one exception being sobbing like an absolute maniac one morning on the train to work reading the end of Marley & Me. Strangers offered Kleenex). The day we got our little dude, I transformed into one of those completely irritating people who talks to her dog in weird voices and dresses him in collars with bow ties (come ON, these are amazing). And football jerseys. I stop to pet dogs on the street and talk to their owners -- complete strangers! -- because I genuinely want to know what kind of dog he or she is, and how old, and how they get him to stop barking at noises outside the door. It's completely weird. And perhaps explains why I find these pictures of the Best in Breed dogs from the Westminster Dog Show to be absolutely adorable. Belly rubs and ear scratches for everyone.
They just crack me up. (The sheepdog! How can he see?!) I won't lie: having a dog is a lot of work (and a lot of things you used to like torn to shreds, RIP), but they are their own reward. To paraphrase Nora Ephron, when you have a dog, someone's always happy to see you. That face makes it worth it.
PS: Speaking of dogs, this makes me weepy!
All images by Fred R. Conrad for the New York Times. From top to bottom, they are: Brix the Bulldog, Swagger the Old English Sheepdog, Oakie the American English Coonhound, Wellie the English Foxhound, Ian the Dalmatian, Tinsel the Chinese Shar-Pei, Rocky the Brittany, Bosse the Russell Terrier, Finnegan the Glen of Imaal Terrier, and Spartacus the Mastiff.