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This is my dog Ty. I am introducing him so that you can go home and tell the people you love that today you met the world’s greatest dog. You should say it like you would say, “the best movie ever!” or “the world’s largest corn maze!” Let them be amazed and inspired by your superior luck and fortune and don’t be afraid to gloat; you’re telling the truth, Ty really is the greatest dog in the world.

Here are a few things that you should know about this totally awesome dog.

He is half golden retriever, half chow chow, which means Ty has a ton of hair. We cut his hair back in the summer and let it grow during the colder months, so he basically spends the year looking like two completely different dogs. In winter he looks like a wise old sage and in summer like a bright-eyed pup.

He loves to wear a bright bandana around his neck. If you hold up a bandana and say, “Ty, want to look pretty?” he’ll come trotting up and sit down in front of you with a big smile on his face while you tie the bandana around his neck.

When we adopted him he was already three years old and wasn’t really into chasing balls or sticks or any typical doggy games like that. Over the years he has spent a lot of time with other dogs who love to chase balls and has since developed a love for tennis balls. He’ll find a tennis ball in the park and carry it around in his mouth for the entire walk. Sometimes I’ll come home at the end of the day and find him sleeping on the floor with one tennis ball in his mouth and all of the other tennis balls we’ve found scattered around him on the floor.

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If he’d had the proper training from the time he was a puppy, he definitely could have been a service dog. Ty has a better capacity for empathy than most humans. Somehow he can sense a specific type of sadness that can only be remedied by a dog gently resting his head on your knee. He will not whimper or cry along with you. He will simply come up quietly beside you and softly place his paw on your thigh, as if to say, “I am here for you, if you need me.”

Ty exhibits almost zero bad behaviors. He does find kitty poop to be quite a treat, but who can fault him for that? He is a dog after all. The one truly bad dog behavior that we’ve ever observed from him makes me laugh so hard that I can’t even be mad about it. He steals bread. Never aggressively. Never when you’re obviously eating it or otherwise engaged with the bread. He’s very sneaky about it and he obviously knows he’s not supposed to steal bread, but he does so in a way where you can just tell that he can’t help himself. He loves bread and oh, if he could only have just one little piece! One time I made some hummus and a bunch of other snacks when we had friends coming over. I cut up a bunch of pita bread and put it on a plate and set the plate and all of the other food out on the coffee table. Ty didn’t take anything except for a single piece of pita bread. He was extremely embarrassed when I caught him.

He makes this weird face whenever someone farts. Whether it was you or him who dealt it, he gives you this look like, “shh, let’s blame this on the cat.”

We don’t have a doorbell and we don’t need one. Ty never barks until someone knocks on the door. It’s great when you’re all the way upstairs where you can’t hear someone lightly knocking. It was also great that one time when a homeless guy started banging on my front door at 3 in the morning, shouting about apples and the government and Ty’s deep booming bark scared him away. Good boy.

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