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Rick's List - Dog Therapy Edition

More and more, as my wife Eileen and I watch coverage of events like Dayton and El Paso, the most soothing thing that happens is when our dog, Virgil, senses our collective despair and hops on the couch between us. It's like the role-reversal equivalent of when we comfort him during a thunderstorm.

Man, pets are great.

Take a deep breath and gaze on the four dogs we've had in our life together. Just for the heck of it.

1. Puppy Brown — She liked to ride on the lap of the person sitting in the passenger seat. If that meant Dallas to Austin, for example, so be it.

2. Vivienne aka Moosie — as a retired professional racing greyhound, I never understood her inability to control her bowels on our daily five-mile runs. She was typically good for a poop for every mile.

3. Gumbo — we never had to look for him. He was next to you, period. And if you were seated, he always lightly placed a paw over your hand or thigh.

4. Virgil — our present and very fine boy. His approach to bedtime spooning is nonpartisan and divided in eerily equal shares between us.

These are tough times. Animals, who do not take up and guns and kill each other, make it all better.

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