Even before I put my keys down after a long day, Vector's sheer joy provides a reassuring, it's-all-worth-it boost. His tireless pursuit of food has made our creepy, annoying Roomba obsolete. And who else can I depend upon to soundly beat me at tug-of-war?
But more than anything, Vector's gift is his easy, everlasting innocence. Our relationship will be forever free of enmity - to his credit, not mine. My furry best friend is permanently pure and, given my many flaws, incredibly forgiving. Even if he had opposable thumbs, my sin-free sidekick wouldn't cast stones.
Sometimes I need a spiritual reset, a return to simplicity amid a life whose blessings can seem like obligations. Sometimes I need a close friend who isn't judging me. Sometimes I just want to focus on something that I know, with certainty, is and always will be 100 percent good. Vector, with his sniffing, in-the-moment nature and limitless loyalty, provides all that and more.
Animal lovers with human children have all endured the awkward, angering scene of a relative or friend who, while obsessing over our babies, discount our pets as suddenly irrelevant also-rans. We had a nanny who would literally push Vector out of the way. That nanny doesn't work for us anymore.
What they don't understand is the value our dogs, cats and other pets bring into our lives and families. Vector's eternal innocence is just one of his lengthy list of contributions that enrich the worlds of my wife, my son, myself. There are no second-class citizens in this family.