We grew up as a pack. The dogs often outnumbered the humans in the house. Sometimes I thought we were living by dog rules and not human rules at all. Other children certainly did not live as we did, crowded into a bed taken up by paws and doggy breath and slightly oily fur. Other children were not told to sit on the floor if the dogs had, by chance, beaten you to the lounge chair. I remember feeling the injustice of the idea that our labrador was left at home when we went to see The Empire Strikes back. She would never experience that opening night queue. She would not be able to find some resolution to the story until it came out on video years later.
Sometimes at night I would lie beside her, she always slept on my bed, and I would cry into her fur. She seemed to know when I was upset. I was a happy child during the day but I had nightmares and I often cried myself to sleep. Night times were the worst. I would press my face into her stomach and I would whisper "You are my real mother."
Some girls dream that they are a real princess, I dreamed that I was my dog's daughter.