Every morning, my day starts off with my dog leaping onto my bed and sniffing, pawing, licking and biting at me. Sometimes, he gets so excited that he just starts barking at me right in my face. My wife gets up about an hour before me, and after giving our dog his breakfast and morning outdoor time, she lets him into the bedroom.
Some mornings, I'll lay in bed – half awake – and listen for the sound of my dog's nails on the hardwood floor outside the bedroom. I'll hear the cracking of paint partially adhered to the door jam as my wife begins to open the way with just enough hesitation to keep my dog excited.
I'll pull the covers over my head so he has to look for me. I'll shift my position so he crawls over me instead of just next to me. Any small thing I can do to keep it interesting for him. This outpouring of affection – no matter how energetic it may be for how little light there is outside – is a reminder every morning that I am loved and is the inspiration I need to get up and embrace the world again today.