You found me when I was a sad puppy, alone in this big cruel world. You took me home and we became fast friends. You hugged me and played with me for hours. Every day you kissed me and told me how much you loved me. When you took me outside to do my number ones and twos, you always praised me and told me what a good boy I was.
You called me your “little boy” and I made you smile and laugh really hard at times. Even when I chewed your shoes or other things of yours, I was still your ‘best friend’. You’d tell me I was “bad” and you’d shake your finger at me and say “Why did you chew my shoe?” – but then you’d give in and just roll me over for a belly rub. Oh how I used to enjoy that.
It took a little longer than you expected to housebreak me, because you were always too busy to follow through with my training, but we eventually got that worked out.
I remember nuzzling you in bed at night and listening to you tell me about your secret dreams. We used to go for long walks in the park, and you took me for fun rides in your car. I even remember when we went to Dairy Queen for vanilla cones. You ordered one for me and one for you. We sat outside on a warm and pleasant afternoon sharing the joy of indulging in a real tasty treat. I ate my cone really fast, and then looked up at you with my soulful eyes, which you recognized as a gentle form of begging and admonished me by saying, “Hey, you ate yours already – this one is mine.”
And then that nice lady came along, looked at me sitting so attentively and so well behaved. She said to you, “Why don’t you give your puppy some of your ice cream? Look how cute he is just sitting there waiting for a bite.”
You told her that I’d already eaten my cone and now I wanted yours. But after she left, you relented and gave me some of yours. You were so thoughtful then.
And then you started spending more time at work and had less time to play with me. That was okay because I loved you back as much or more than you loved me.
When you began dating all those women I would wait patiently for you to return home. I remember comforting you through heartbreaks and disappointments. Sometimes I felt like a sad puppy but never once did I behave badly to any of your female friends.
Then one day you told me that you had finally found “The One.” I didn’t know what “The One” meant but I could see that you were as happy as when you first found me. And now “The One” is your wife. She said she wasn’t a “dog person”. I’ve never seen a person that was also a dog so that didn’t mean anything to me at the time.
I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her commands, even when they seemed unreasonable. I was happy because you were happy. Then she gave you a baby and both of you were overjoyed.
The baby was so cute, like me when I was smaller. But then both of you worried that I might hurt the baby. I tried to let you know I would never do anything like that but neither of you seemed to understand me, even when I would nuzzle the baby and lick its tiny little paws (excuse me, hands). After that, you banished me to a dog crate each night.
As the baby began to grow, it would grab my fur and pull himself up on those spindly little legs of his, poke his fingers in my eyes and give me kisses. I loved that baby and I would have defended him with my life.
As the baby grew older, I would sneak into his room and listen to his soft, even breath as he lay sleeping. When he could walk all over the house, we’d sit together and wait for the sound of your car in the driveway and your keys jangling as you opened the door.
There was a time when you showed your friends pictures of me and told them about all the good times we shared together. But these last few years I went from being “your dog” to just “a dog”.
Now, you and your family (which doesn’t seem to include me anymore) are moving to an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. I wondered who would take me in, shelter me, feed me, and love me as you once had. When you said “Come on, boy. Let’s go” I thought you had found a new family for me.
I was so excited about what lay ahead for me and my new family until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dirty dogs and crummy cats.
I watched you sign papers and understood you were abandoning me to this place. When you went to leave, you patted my head and said, “I know they’ll take good care of you.”
Several weeks have gone by and I am still here where you left me. I get fed regularly and no one treats me badly; but this is not the same as being with you.
One afternoon, a young man who works here came and took me out of my cage. Usually I had to stay inside that cage all day and all night except to go outside to do my number ones and twos, like I used to do with you. Instead of going outside we went to a small room with nothing but a table. The man was joined by a nice lady who rubbed my ears, patted me on the head, and told me not to worry.
She gently placed a tourniquet around my front leg and I saw a tear run down her cheek. I licked her hand just like I used to do with you so many years ago. She skillfully slid the hypodermic needle into my vein so as not to hurt me. As I felt the sting and the liquid flowing through my body, I began to feel very tired. I looked at her and thought, “Why? Was it something I did? Was I bad?”.
Perhaps she understood the sad puppy look in my eyes because she said, “I’m so sorry.” Then she hugged me and told me I was going to a better place where I wouldn’t be abused or abandoned – a place where I would be loved forever.
My last thoughts were that I hoped she didn’t think my questions were directed at her. They were meant for you, my Beloved Master. I will never forget you and all the love and attention you bestowed on me. I will think of you and wait for you forever. I just hope that the other people in your life will show you as much love and loyalty as I did.