Ode to the Juno

I’m moving on the 31st, only about a mile away. I’m going to be living alone for the first time, which I’m really excited about. Eventually I might change that by getting a cat.

Until then, though, I’ll be living without a cute furry thing for the first time in three years. That’s because for those three years, I’ve been living with my roommate and her dog, Juno.


Juno, in my humble opinion, is the best dog ever. She’s probably a flat-coated retriever, and she loves you. Really. Even if she doesn’t know you, she loves you. Because she loves EVERYBODY. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you are a human, she loves you.

We should all be more like Juno.

I like to think she loves me more than the average human, though. I love her so much. I love how she likes to cuddle even in 90-degree heat. I love how she never stops wagging her tail. I love how she’d rather have attention than dog food and is always rolling on her back begging for a belly rub. I love how she’s six years old but still acts like a puppy. I love that she thinks she’s a lapdog despite being sixty pounds. I love how many kisses she gives. I love how excited she is to see me when I get home.

I have a lot of nicknames for her: Junebug, Puppy-girl, The Black Furball of Need, Princess Waggytail, Cuddles McFurry, You Ridiculous Beast. She doesn’t call me anything, but I call myself her Backup Human. If she could talk, as I’ve said before, I’m pretty sure she’d be singing a song that goes something like, “I’m the cutest! I’m the cutest! I’m the cutest!” (It’s not a very complicated song because she’s not a very complicated dog.) But she does have very high self-esteem.

She’s super quiet, though, which I appreciate. She very rarely barks, and when she does, it’s usually because she saw a cat out the window.

I never had a dog or a cat or any pets aside from fish growing up- my parents are just not pet people. This was the first time I’d ever lived with an animal, and living with her improved my quality of life immeasurably. During the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bomber, I spent a lot of the day anxiously petting her on the couch and thinking she’d make a great therapy dog.

No, even the best dog ever isn’t perfect. She sheds like crazy. She’s ridiculously needy and completely shameless. The firefighters down the street give her treats, which she knows, so one day when I was walking her, she saw that the firehouse door was open and yanked my arm out of the socket and the next thing I knew, I was in the firehouse, awkwardly standing there like, “Uh…hi. My dog wants a treat?” And she is the lickiest dog I’ve ever met in my life- while I like getting puppy kisses, my friends are not such big fans and I constantly have to tell her, “Juno, I know you love everybody but that does not mean you have to kiss everybody.” But even so, someday in the distant future I want my own dog, but I feel really bad for that hypothetical future dog—Juno has set the bar really high. It’s going to be hard to find a dog who’s half as awesome as she is.

I’m going to miss you, Juno. Keep being the best dog ever, and it has been a privilege to be your Backup Human.

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