Last week I picked up some kind of stomach bug. Me, in bed, after 9:00 a.m. was enough to worry Shiva. She kept pacing in and out of the bedroom, making little quizzical noises down in her chest, laying her big chin on the side of the mattress, snuffling at me and pawing the blankets, whuffing softly in distress with that worried expression that's peculiar to the breed. Bimmer was curled up in his customary position at the foot of the bed, craning his neck around to check on me and sing to me occasionally. I laid there as still as I possibly could in a hopeless effort to avoid the inevitable. When the inevitable became, well, inevitable, Shiva had taken a break and was getting a drink of water, getting that snout all nice and cold and wet. Poor Shiva! She didn't know WHAT to do when she heard me in the bathroom. While I was cringing over the commode, (trust me, it'll be QUITE a while before I want any fish again) she crashed through the door and stood behind me making her strange little worried Chewbacca croon down deep in her throat. When she just couldn't stand it anymore, I felt her stick her head up under the back of my robe and then poke me in the cheek (NOT the on the face) with that perfectly chilled snoot. It was impossible for me to make any reply to her or reassure her at just that moment, so she just kept prodding me, getting a little more worried and insistent at each nudge. After it was all over, I'd have hurt my sides laughing, except that they were already sore, and truthfully, I was terrified that if I laughed I might start the whole process over again. There she stood, tail slowly wagging back and forth, hitting the bathroom door facings, setting a perfect andante tempo, that big butt samba-ing in counterpoint, one big tear squeezing out of the corner of each eye. It's no wonder these dogs are so addictive.