If dogs could read and understand emotion the way humans do, I would hope for nothing more than for you to find this letter and truly know what you’ve meant to your dad and I. I remember the first time you came to us. You flew, all by yourself, from Texas to DC. I know it must have been one of the scariest things you’ve had to go through and probably the reason you hate flying with us today. You were the tiniest thing; so fragile. However, the moment I held you in my arms you snuggled right into me and at that moment you made me a fur-mommy.
When you arrived your dad and I had no idea what it took to become a fur-parent. We were just married and both left our jobs right around the same time. The perfect time to add a pet, huh? However, none of that mattered. I knew right away that you were mine and I counted down the days until you came to me. You were scared of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. From people, to birds, cars, and even your own shadow. There were times you were really frustrating; especially when you cried all through the night with no avail. You were scared of your water bowl and therefore we had to teach you how to eat and drink. There were so many lessons you learned within those first few weeks, but you picked it up very quickly.
Eventually mommy and daddy found work but it would take another trip, not in a plane, but rather a four-day trip across the country to California. You were awesome. We snuck you into hotels that didn’t allow pets and you learned how to adapt to new places. You eventually fell in love with daddy’s Jeep and it’s one of your favorite cars to ride in today. Even through you were scared most of the time, I am so proud of how fearless you are today.
We arrived in California and your first beach experience was in Santa Barbara (no too bad, huh?). You were very unsure of what the beach was but you’ve grown to love it so much! Almost so that you’ve become a stubborn-ass on walks because you want to go play in the water so badly. In our new home you officially became house trained, learned to walk on a leash, and even learned basic commands like sit. We swore we wouldn’t allow you to sleep in our bed or lay on our sofa but you see how well that turned out. You’re the only dog that has a tempur-pedic bed. You’ve made new friends and continue to go with us everywhere. Daddy wouldn’t want it any other way.
In conclusion, on your first birthday it may not seem like any other day to you, but know that this birthday is a special one for your mom and dad. It marks a time when you’re not so much that little scared puppy, but a maturing young dog. I am so proud of the growth you’ve made and it’s difficult to remember life without having you in it. I look forward to celebrating with you tonight with dad and the pup-cake he made himself!
I love you more than words,