Anyone who’s ever owned or been around them knows that dogs are a Swiss army knife for the soul. No matter what’s troubling you, no matter how bad things are, or how bad they may get, the presence of a dog just seems to make things better. How do they do it?

Who knows, but if Big Pharma could somehow extract, replicate and synthesize into pill form, the effect of a dog’s love on the human soul, it would immediately render all other forms of therapy and treatment obsolete.

But they haven’t, thankfully, which is why we still have stories like this one from the New York Times Magazine about a young boy suffering from the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and the dog that helped him when nothing else could.

It’s a long read, but well worth it, and if, after reading it, you don’t immediately drop everything and either A. cry, B. hug your dog, or C. cry while hugging your dog, then you surely have a heart of the blackest obsidian and are well and truly lost.