There you were at the shelter. You were curled up in the back of the dog kennel, peering up at me suspiciously behind those long “bangs” of yours. I asked the shelter attendant what had happened to you to make you so afraid. She said she didn’t know but you’d been there for five weeks since they found you and didn’t like anyone. That was enough for me. I asked her to take you out and when she did you firmly dug all four of your feet into the ground. We had to carry all 40 lbs of you away from the building and when I put you down you pulled with all your might to get back inside.
We went back in and I said “I’ll take him!”. The woman looked at me in surprise and went to get the paperwork. When she returned she cautioned me that you would be a “difficult” dog. I didn’t care, I couldn’t leave you there. Soon, we were on our way home and en route you threw up all over yourself and my car. When we got home you promptly moved into my bathroom, where you lived for about a week before you were brave enough to come out and explore our 2 bedroom apartment.
You didn’t like me. You sized me up every time I came close to you. Every walk I continued to carry you away from the house and then put you down so you could pull me all the way home. One night, about a week after we came home you slipped out of your collar. It was before cell phones and I was yelling at 10:30 pm “Buddy!!! Buddy!!!”. Crying, I went home. I knew there was no way I’d ever see you again. I got there, and there you were sitting by the front door. That was when I knew you trusted me.
It’s been a long road since then. I graduated from university, got married, and spending time with you inspired me to start my business. Then my brother became very ill and passed away. You were there for it all. Later, we bought a condo and then a house, adding 2 cats, a bunny, and 2 children to your life. You took it all in stride and never complained. In fact, over time you grew to love it all…and us. Your stubborn and regal personality are still there, but combined with it is the immense amount of love and loyalty that you only offer to us – the people that you trust.
Today, you are 14 and going strong. You are my best friend and you have been there for me for every important moment of my life. You have taught me about patience, strength, loyalty, and most of all unconditional love. I’m telling you this now before you are gone so that you will always know how much you have changed my life and remember it forever.
I love you forever my friend.