If My Dog Could Read, This is What I Would Tell Him

Dear Simon,

        There are so many reasons that I am grateful for you.  The first reason is that you never fail to put a smile on my face.  I can be crying, or in the worst mood and all I have to do is look into your big brown eyes in order to feel better.  There have been times when all I wanted to do was cry and feel bad for myself, but you didn’t allow it.  You never like to see me upset and you teach me not to feel bad for myself because you never feel bad for yourself.  You’re always such a happy boy… The only time I see you sad is when I have to leave for college after a weekend of being home.  Saying goodbye to you breaks my heart every time, especially when you make that sad teeth-chattering noise and look up at me with sad eyes.  Your Grammy (my mom), tells me that when she says my name when I’m gone that you get really excited and look around for me.   

        One of my favorite things is when I come home after being away at school for a while and you jump up and down until I kneel to your level.  Then you always take your huge paw and put it on top of my knee as if you are trying to keep me from leaving again.  You’re so perceptive and smart.  My favorite thing is when you always try to lick my whole face, until I taught you a few years ago how to “give me a little kiss,” and you always kiss the very bottom of my chin.  Before I taught you that, we nicknamed you “Slimy Simy” because of your big kisses.   

        It makes me sad that every time I come home, your face gets whiter and whiter.  It makes me miss the little pup that you were 12 years ago.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and be 8 again, so you were a puppy again and I could crawl into your kennel to snuggle up with you like I used to.  I often wish that dogs were immortal, especially now that you are getting so old and fragile… But, if we were to go back in time, then I wouldn’t have these last 12 years of memories with you, like going out and playing in the snow and how you are your sister used to run along-side our sled to try and jump on with us, or all the times you laid in the horse-back riding arena with us while we took lessons.  I guess what I’m saying is, I would never trade in the past 12 years filled with big, slimy kisses or puppy cuddles, but if I could wish one thing, it’s that you could stay with us forever. 

        You truly area one-of-a-kind dog.  I love how you cuddle with “your cat” Nugget and how you wear your t-shirt so proudly as a bandage for the sore on your tummy.  I fear that I will never find another dog who will take the little treat out of my hand so gently that my finger isn’t even touched or one that will care about me so unconditionally again.  Matter of the fact, I hope that I never find another dog just like you because I would never want to imagine another dog filling your spot in my heart, which I actually think would be impossible. 

        I fear the day where we have to make the decision to put you out of your misery.  I’ve been there before with my other pets, but with you it will be 100 times worse.  I know that it will be a hard decision to make and I wish I could say that it will be a while from now, but as I look at your white face and weakening hips, I know we don’t have long… For now, all we can do is enjoy every last moment together playing catch together and sitting on the front porch looking out into the pastures. 

I love you baby boy… more than you’ll ever know.