On your 11th birthday I am overwhelmed with happy memories of your existence. You are a dog, however, you are our dog. You were our "first child" and were a happy addition to our newlywed existence.
Mr. Man wanted a yellow lab from the moment we were married. One day, while living in our teeny tiny house in LA, with our teeny tiny yard, he got the courage to ask the landlord if we could get a dog. On our 2nd Christmas, I opened a gift containing a post it with a handdrawn picture of a dog on it. A few weeks later we picked you up and took you home. The first night you cried and howled, and snorted like a little piggy, because you were so sad to be away from your family. We both got up with you every three hours and took you outside to "do your business". We stood outside and held hands while we praised your good deed.
Sandy, the first few months of your life, it RAINED all the time. Buckets of RAIN for months. So the next few days, we stood out in the middle of the night with you in the RAIN, still holding hands, and you thought the mud was the worlds funnest thing. It distracted you from "doing your business" but you were so cute, we didn't mind. Everytime it rains, I think of our puppyhood days.
Then just a few days into your new life with us, you became VERY ill. I drove your little limp body to the vet in the pouring rain, and saw his grim face, when he told me you had Parvo, a deadly virus. Your chances were 50/50. I called your Dad, and he said, "Whatever it takes". We put our meager savings towards saving your life. Five days in the vet hospital, and five tear filled and sleepless nights later, we brought you home, skinny and full of energy.
Sandy, you are wicked smart. It has proved to be a challenge to several of your trainers. You once ate an entire plate of grilled chicken I had prepared for a party, and walked yourself to "time out". It appears you evaluate the satisfaction recieved from the crime and compare it to the punishment and decide.... "Oh yeah! That is totally worth it!" Also, we cannot explain your affinity and love of metal objects. You have probably eaten a hundred dollars worth of coins. Paperclips and a needle have sent you to the vet's office for unpleasant and costly visits. When you pierced your gum with a paperclip, you earned the name of "Paperclip Sandy" and earned your way into the Vet's "Patients of Fame & Shame" wall.
Last year you developed a limp, one that becomes greatly exaggerated when you are begging for attention or being punished. For a while we thought it was a ploy, but have sadly realized your hips are aging quickly. We are not ready to say goodbye to the dog who still wrestles like a puppy. The Vet has informed us you are in the sunset of your life, and we cherish each moment, each wet kiss, and each sweet nuzzle. Today, we are grateful for the dog who has blessed our life.
Mom & Dad aka "The Hand that Feeds You"
Also, just wanted to say a Happy Happy Birthday to Mr. Man.
And to point out that Pneumonia... totally sucks. I'm totally annoyed with my body, no ONE needs pneumonia over the Holidays.