I knew the instant I saw you, that you were the pup for me: the biggest cutest ears, the most heart-warming smile and the pure joy for life radiated through you. You were exactly what I needed every moment that we had together.

I had absolutely no idea who I was when I found you. Freshly back from Iraq and wanting nothing more than to go back, instead I focused my energy on finding the perfect pup to help me figure out life. I searched high and low, and of all the places I hunted, I found you in the hometown I ran from as soon as I could...Topeka, Kansas. As soon as I threw that tennis ball and you unabashedly hurled down the hall and into the cold cement wall to happily bring it back to me, I knew I couldn't leave without you.

We learned a lot about life and ourselves together...although both stubborn-headed it took us awhile. We learned that it's ok to let folks/pups in...that while it might be scary at first, we almost always created a life-long friendship for those we allowed ourselves to come close to. We learned that it's ok to love and live hard knowing we will get hurt one way or the other by doing so. We learned that while our inner-fatty really wants to eat that whole tub of leftover lasagna, maybe sometimes it's smarter to nibble here and there instead. We learned that shoes are for wearing, not devouring and cuddling with them instead of eating will suffice (the left ones make for the best cuddles too apparently.)

On the subject of cuddles...you sure as shit were the best cuddler a girl could ask for. Our cuddle sessions taught me to let out all the tears, to feel the sadness, to feel the heartache, to feel the joy...to plain ol' feel. You let me feel with you before I was ready to do so in front of my own kind.

You absolutely loved walks...and despite your name, you were technically horrible at them. From my left side to my right, pulling me into light posts and up trees when squirrel spottings occurred - you taught me that straight lines are boring and an off-the-beaten path adventure is easily attainable by just stepping outside with a good attitude in mind.

You were shamelessly goofy and everyone loved you for it. Your beautiful buffoonery taught me to quit apologizing and to love being me...loud laugh and all.

Thank you for always being there for me. For always knowing when I needed a cuddle fest. For knowing when I needed a break from editing. For those sweet kisses you only gave out to your closest kin. Thank you for entrusting yourself with me and for being my best furry friend these past 14 years. I miss you beyond what my simple words can express but I know you're having a hell of a time with Greg, Bailey and Ms. Morgan.


and on a side note...as I looked through the thousands of photos I have of you throughout the years...I do have to say that you were truly the George Clooney of pups and you just got more handsome with age.