We love our “little man” dearly – Sully, the Australian Terrier who has loyally looked after our family since my daughter was a preschooler. Now she is taller than me and about to start her last year of high school, but her four legged brother still sleeps on her bed every night, and makes sure she is tucked in safely. He isn’t very good at sharing though.

When Sully arrived he was only as big as our hands, and absolutely irresistible. Our little girl was terrified of dogs at the time, and it was Sully who completely took away that fear. He was the best of friends when no one else would do, he would mop up childhood tears, do the “dance of joy” when the lead came out for a walk, and he would race up and down the house herding everyone together.

Aging now, almost completely blind, diabetic and losing his fur, Sully is still at the centre of the family. He still herds us safely together, stays up until the last of us goes to bed, snuggles up to us when we feel low, and trots around after us making sure we are okay. When we leave the house he stands at the gate and tells the neighbourhood that he is in charge … just in case they don’t realise already.

When he curls up on our laps we call it “Sully Therapy” because he is the master of the soothing cuddle. Here he is, snuggled in between my legs on the recliner yesterday. He wasn’t going anywhere, so neither was I. Sully truly knows how to force his family to relax, whether they think it is the time for it or not. How can you possibly say no to him as he nuzzles into you, hiding his eyes from the light so that it doesn’t disturb his snooze? How can you not give into the gentle rhythm created by his soft snoring? But why, oh why, does he insist on farting in his sleep??

To Sully – the most wonderful companion and friend. We love you, “little man”. xx