When I was seven, my mom and dad decided that we needed a second dog. After some deliberation, and dragging the whole family around from pound to petstore and puppy seller to formal breeder, they finally settled on a bulldog.
Her name was Delila. She was tiny, black and white, and you could hardly tell her backside from her face. Well, Delila grew pretty quickly into a hefty stinky "so ugly she's cute" kind of dog, and as far as my mom was concerned, the sun rose and set around this dog. She called her "the beloved," and pretty much, she meant it.
When Delila was a few years old, my mom even painted a little ceramic dog to look like Delila. Yes, this puppy love was the kind which begins to border on Idolatry.
Many years after the passing of the beloved, and some three dogs later, my mother gave the Delila statuette to my brother, for his apartment. You know, because every eligible bachelor needs a ceramic bulldog lovingly painted by his mommy.
While staying with my brother recently, Jabberwalky found Delila and decided he was in love.
Jabberwalky kissing 'lila. I did mention it is hard to tell the face from the hiney, right?
(He can't quite say Delila yet, so he just calls her 'lila.)
He hugged 'lila, he kissed 'lila, he pet 'lila. She taught him what "gentle" was, and when he couldn't be gentle, he learned that breakable ceramic bulldogs sleep on top of the big tall chest of drawers, well out of toddler reach, but still where he could see her and know she was sleeping "happy."
A week later, when we were swinging back through at my brother's, as soon as we were in the door, he was looking for 'lila again. I was impressed with his memory and one other thing- the boy clearly had a case of "puppy love."