Kaden was rescued by my cousin Joey. He found him locked in a kennel filled with his own urine and feces. He was only 8 weeks old, but he had been mercilessly attacked by other dogs, and is still very sensitive to people touching his face. When I came to my uncle and aunt’s house, my uncle warned me that Kaden might find me threatening, so I sat on the coach as he let Kaden and the other dogs in. Uncharacteristically, Kaden plopped on top of my lap. His 120 lbs. Mastiff body attempting to become a lap dog I thought. But then something else odd happened. He started growling at the other dogs…he was protecting me.

Kaden and I struck a bond at that moment. He wasn’t content until he slept on the bed with me at night, and he looked at me with eyes that betrayed his age and species. Kaden knew what I was about.

Yesterday, when I returned to my aunt and uncle’s house, all the dogs seemed to be worried about me. The normally worrisome Weimaraner was an especially worked up nanny, but it was Kaden that had the look of knowing. His bloodshot eyes showed that he knew what I was about to embark upon. I wish I could have taken him, allowed him to protect me as he’d like, and loved on him like you can only love on a big dog.

Kaden is kind of that way. My cousin Joey calls him his best friend, and Kaden helped Joey through some tough times as well. Mark Twain once wrote that, “Every man in his life has one good dog.” It seems lucky then that I’ve been able to meet so many.