It’s hard to come up with the words for a fitting tribute to such an amazing friend, but you’ve meant so much that I must try. At 12 weeks you were just a skinny, hopeless little puppy – a member of an unwanted litter between a pretty Dalmatian and a wily, fence-jumping lab. The moment I saw you, I knew there was something special about you. You had a spark, a demeanor, and a personality that I was drawn to, and I immediately wanted to raise you, protect you, and love you as best as a silly 22 year-old punk could.
You settled in so quickly and adapted so effortlessly to human life that I believed then and still believe today that you didn’t realize you were a dog. Your agility and speed were unmatched at the park and your sprinting leaps to catch a Frisbee were breathtaking. Whether camping, hiking, or canoeing, you were always the most enthusiastic member of the group. Throughout your life there seemed to be a lasting effect on the friends you made. In you, they could see a loyal and completely trustworthy friend who could be counted on no matter what kind of day it was or mood they were in. Many of your friends went on to search out and find their own loyal pals.
I’d also like to apologize for any behavior you saw in me which caused you distress or unhappiness. There were times when I was angry, whether it was about you or not, and I behaved meanly but you held no grudge. When play or walk time was short due to a myriad of silly human concerns, you accepted the injustice with nothing but licks and tail wags. Inconsistent meals didn’t bother you and long days alone at home only seemed to strengthen your love and enthusiasm.
To me, you have been the perfect best friend. We have been through so many trials together, shared so many adventures, and grown up together so much over the past 14 years that I don’t know how I cannot have you with me. You have been a constant and grounding force in my life through travel, marriage, school, jobs and new homes. Always there for a comforting snuggle or an amusing trick, you brightened the mood of any room. There is nothing I can physically do to fill the void that is left in me now that you’re gone, but I promise to use the countless memories of your long life to bring joy and encouragement to myself and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing you.
Goodbye, dear friend. May there be a heaven filled with endless treats, squirrels to chase, and cats to torment. I’ll miss you forever.