MARK DOTY from Dog Years
When we talk about this unconditional acceptance, we are really describing a fixity of devotion, a deep reliability. The source of this is, in part, the dog’s lack of agency; they really cannot do otherwise than to love us, can they? The contract that we enter into is one that dogs take with ultimate seriousness.
People may choose - often, sadly, do - to abandon them, to relinquish our side of the bargain, but dogs do not regard this as a choice; they intend, one might say, to honor this pact with all their hearts, or perhaps the less anthrocentric way to phrase that would be to say that in part a dog simply is an intention to be with you, to be conjoined.
Thus they are the pattern of fidelity - Fido! - the very template of enduring loyalty, of love without any prospect of abandonment.