Dear Dog

Dear Dog:

A year ago this past week, I went to Bideawee a year ago looking for an older dog.  I came out, 24 hours later, with an eight week old puppy.

This is what you looked like when you were just a baby:

They called you “Faraday,” and you were the runt of the litter.  I had gone into the room full of puppies because “it couldn’t hurt,” and I had intended to see your sister, Penelope.  But you sauntered up to me in that very Riley Roo way, and the moment that you nuzzled my hand, I knew we’d be together.

The next day, they ran my background check by calling your Uncle JM, and a few hours after that, you were mine.  I hadn’t planned on it happening so fast — I figured I’d have a few weeks.  I didn’t have any dog stuff anymore; my apartment wasn’t puppy-proofed. I had been working out in Stamford.  I had to ask Bill to go pick you up while I raced back to the City.

This is what you and I looked like, the day you came home.  Look at how little you were!

Dog, I didn’t think I’d love another dog the way I loved Lilly.  There was a special dog-shaped place in my heart that had been reserved for my Lilly-bean, and when she died, that little dog-shaped place closed-up, never to be opened back up.  But then, see above, you came along with your white patchy chin and puppydog eyes (I mean that, too, if ever there were puppydog eyes on a canine, you have them), and the space began to relax.

Somehow, then, it became a Roo-shaped space.

I’ve had you a year, now.  And every day, you have been a great joy.  You make me laugh with your silly wobble; your shaggy face; your preference for leisure.  They say opposites attract — and where I am athletic, you are lazy.  For me, 13 miles on foot is a stroll in the park, and for you, a stroll in the park leaves you worn out and winded.  While I prefer healthy food in limited portion, you’d like as much junk food as possible.  I’m slim.  You’re overweight.  I’d like to think I’m put-together.  You’re a weird, disheveled mess.

We compliment each other beautifully.

My darling Roo-dog, make no mistake:  I don’t think you’re my kid; I don’t think you’re anything but a wonderful companion of the four-legged variety.  But your very presence has given my life meaning in ways I never expected; you bring me joy I could not have anticipated.

You make me laugh; you remind me that small joys are the greatest joys; you give my life order in chaos.

Riley Roo, you were one of the best decisions I made in the last 12 months.  This past year of watching you grow in to the silly, scruffy man-of-the house has been one of incredible happiness.

So here’s to many more years of quiet adventure, and scrambled egg breakfasts…

Love,

Your Grateful M

*Please visit http://www.bideawee.org for more information about Bideawee’s adoption, veterinary and pet training programs, or to make a donation.

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