Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous sonnet is a straightforward love poem that we can all relate to:

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. I love thee freely. I love purely. I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life.”

It’s no secret that we love our pets and that we spend more than we admit on making their life as comfortable as possible, but I was amazed to find out that Americans will spend more than $700 MILLION on Valentine’s Day. Top pet gifts last year included treats, dog collars and hair bows. Guess there is no denying that Valentine’s Day has become a huge retail holiday, but it is still a special day to express our love to both our two-legged and four-legged companions.

Renae Hamrick shares a dog’s love letter to humans:

Dear Valentine,

There are so many things in my life that I love….dog food, dog biscuits, stuff in the trash can, smelly spots in the backyard, sunny spots on the living room floor, my huge collection of toys, your socks, the middle of your bed, chasing squirrels, long walks, the fire hydrant down the block. I could go on and on. All those things are fantastic, but what makes my tail wag more than anything is you, my best friend. I am the luckiest dog in the world to have you as my person. Let me tell you why:

I begin my day waking up happily snuggled next to you. I am thankful that you kept me warm and safe through the night, and I can hardly wait to help you wake up with a kiss on your cheek. My day gets even better when you clip a leash to my halter and we go for that thing you call a “w-a-l-k”! I love being connected by that leash-thing, because then I know other dogs won’t try to take you away from me. What makes this time even better is that you’ve included all kinds of flying, climbing, and creeping creatures along the way for me to chase and talk to, and you put a fun, smelly hydrant-thing down the street for me to sniff. Then we go home and have a great time together, you with your coffee and me with my kibble (usually with some good stuff in it). You are the most thoughtful person a dog could have.

After breakfast, I usually feel a little sad because you get all dressed up and leave for awhile. How I miss you when you are gone, but you give me toys to play with in your absence. While you’re away, I spend most of my time lying on your blue jeans, below the picture of you, which you thoughtfully hung on the wall for me to see.

The absolute, positively best part of my day is when you come home to me. My nose tells me you are near, and then you come through the door. I do my best to show you how much I love and missed you. I could go on and on. You fill my days with joy. Nothing will ever come between your being my person and my being your dog. I am here for you no matter what your life brings, and my love for you is totally unconditional. Know that I would run miles to be with you, risk any danger to protect you, and lick countless tears to comfort you. You are my person, my best friend, my true love. I want to always make you smile. I wear my heart on my wagging tail, and I will always do my very best to let you know that I love you more than anything – even biscuits.

Love always,

Your faithful dog