Given that your projected life span is 10-12 years, that means we probably have 4-6 years left.
Which means our time together is simply too short.
You bugged the shit out of every roommate you had, and they all got adopted, but you stayed. I managed to finagle you into my home by begging the landlord. When I brought Emma to meet you first you did everything right. You deferred to her and ended up keeping to yourself and not bugging the shit out of her. I brought you home with me, and you destroyed my living room one day. So I hid things all over the apartment for you to find. It never happened again. I think it dawned on you that I would be coming home.
You raised every foster kitten I brought home as if it were your own. You pottied them, scolded them when they were assholes, gently, and kept them warm and loved. The things you put up with without ever showing aggression were astounding.
For a dog that requires as much exercise as you do, you've been remarkably good about being an indoor dog whose exercise is a walk at the end of a 6 ft leash. It tickles me to no end that you had been a starving street dog and your breed is intended for outdoors, but your favorite place is in front of a space heater.
I thought when the kids were born I had lost you to them, because you always have to know where they are and what they're doing. It hasn't escaped my notice, however, that at bedtime you are wherever I am. I think your bed in the kitchen as new and fun for awhile, but I've noticed that you will park yourself on the hard floor if it means being near me. In Jonas's room at night when he's been a handful and I'm barely sleeping, it makes me feel a thousand times better to toss my hand over the side of the bed. I know that even if you're half asleep, you'll know it and snug up under my hand while I scratch your head.
You have been taken for granted over the past few years. Part of it has been parenting stress, but I think a lot of it is that you've been one healthy animal, even though your start was rough. It rarely occurs to me that one day you won't be here. I need to rectify that.
Yeah, you can be a pain in my ass. You're always right underfoot, and you're a sneaky bitch who will snag food just as soon as my back is turned. You hate to poop in the rain, and it leads to annoying trips outside. It delights me though, that Livvie is finally, desperately in love with you. Yes, she needs to stop slipping you french fries and pizza at the table. But she throws her arms around you and kisses your face and every inch of me melts.
I need to get this house for you. The thought of turning you loose on so much room to run is joy. The thought of being able to open the door for you to let you escape when the kids are losing their minds makes me so happy. I need to stop taking you for granted and enjoy every year I have left with you.
I had a cat of a lifetime once. You might not be my first dog, but you're my dog of a lifetime. I couldn't ask for better.
Thanks for choosing me.
(In honor of Emma, Dante, Zoe, and Jinx)