Companion animals. You are in a foreign country and do not understand the language. How do you navigate this alien culture? The dog that lays in my bed every night does not speak my language. Nor do I speak his language. The human dwelling is not made for him. Somehow, someway we have forged a bond that goes beyond language and habitat. Two different species co-existing peacefully. When we walk it is done so without a collar and leash. The explorer in the dog comes out and the observer in me follows with anticipation. Bounding up to strangers the dog has no social fear. He sniffs, and leaves abruptly shocking those who reach down to greet him. It is his own social exchange that he only understands. As the guardian it is up to me to ensure the dog’s wellbeing. A social pact that is fulfilled dutifully on a daily basis. In return he trusts in me, forming a bond that goes beyond the barrier of being two different species. We are companions.