Today marks your second birthday. Most likely. The day I got you, the vet said you were 12 weeks old, so I counted back 12 weeks from that day, and that was December 5. What do you want from me? I wasn’t there in the trailer park where you were born. It’s close enough. If you don’t stop complaining I’ll say your birthday is November 30 and then you’ll be stuck with a topaz for a birthstone.
Okay. Thought that’d shut you up.
I had no intention of having a dog the day I found you. I was driving to Raleigh to a job interview, and there you were. On a busy two-lane highway.
I mean seriously. Who could just drive past a snickerdoodle like this?
I didn’t know, from the car, if you were a small yellow dog or a puppy, but once I did that hair-raising U-turn on that busy road and swooped back to the driveway leading to the trailers, I saw you were just little. And very happy to climb right into my car like you owned the place. Which you did. Because as soon as I felt how skinny you were, with your tail flap-flap-flapping against my interview suit, and I saw how there were no fences near any of those trailers where I was gonna knock and ask, “Is this your dog?” I knew. I knew I was totally stealing you.
You had fleas, ticks, a worm, and you were malnourished. I knew nothing about dogs, and left a Quarter Pounder with Cheese on the table the day I got you. When I returned? What Quarter Pounder? You were the only quarter-pounder in the room.
I didn’t know the first thing about dogs. I had to potty train you; teach you not to pull on the leash (okay, I never learned that, really); crate train you; teach you not to be afraid of the mailman, the cats, automatic doors, sticks. Really, I had to teach you everything.
When we bought our house, you were still a puppy, and you went with us to every house we considered. Then it was just the two of us living here for two months, while Marvin finished his job in TinyTown. You were my only friend here.
I soon stopped putting you in your crate at night, and let you sleep with me. Since then, there has not been one morning I have woken up without you right next to me.
And yes, we’ve had our bad times. Like when you ate my favorite childhood book. Or when you ate my favorite shoes. Or when you ate your dog bed, which you didn’t sleep in anyway, but still.
We have learned to r-e-s-p-e-c-t each other.
And you have been a real trouper, living with all these…these…cats.
Even though I know sometimes you’d rather be eating my neck out.