Even if you’re strictly a cat lover, it’s nearly impossible not to be moved by the brand of loyalty unique to dogs. Buddhists believe that on the day that the Buddha died, he summoned all animals to his side. Only members of 12 species — dogs among them — reached him before his death. He rewarded those who came with a year of their own, which is why the cat has no sign in the Chinese zodiac. Although not every dog is necessarily friendly by nature, stories emerge from time to time of a dog becoming separated from his or her family and undertaking an incredible journey toward reunion. Dogs are used in therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and in clinical settings as comfort for the terminally ill.