Happy Birthday Lenni!
From the moment you picked me, I knew you were a little off...er..."unique." The rest of your litter-mates were either wrestling one another or taking what was probably their 10th nap of the morning. You, however, were trying to get chose. As I tried to get a good look at each of your siblings, they all remained attentive to their respective activities, while you walked around the pin following my every step. It was as if you knew exactly what was about to go down. I conceded, finally, and picked you up, and you tucked your little head into my arm as if to claim your stake. I put you down in an effort to not make an emotional decision. Puppy picking is serious business -- a job that shouldn't be taken lightly. I tried to analyze temperament, color, ear shape of all of the puppies; but you were persistent. At this point, if I didn't choose you, it would've been like not picking the kid in the wheelchair to be on my team during field day. But, I assure you, I've never for a second, regretted it being you. I often joke that we got "the defective one" - slow to catch onto new tricks, and not to mention you shed, which was NOT what we signed up for when we decided on an hyperallergenic goldendoodle. But defective or not, I'd choose you. Every time.
Thank you for reeling in my short fuse, and teaching me just how patient love really is.
Thank you for not being a shoe chewer. I would've hated to end up in jail.
Thank you for eating those 5 pairs of panties that one time and consequently obliterating your crate with a poop + vomit combo for the books. It proved to me that your dad really does love me and I'm not in this [literal] shit alone.
Also, thank you for getting queasy from said panties a few days later and sending me into a state of panic, thus causing me to bite the $150 emergency vet bullet. Only for them to tell me you were fine and send us on our way with a receipt and and anti-nausea meds you only needed once. It taught me that you're tough as nails and a nice lesson on emergency savings.
Thank you for shamelessly loving me more than your dad, because I couldn't deal with it the other way around.
Thank you for failing every single guard dog test and showing me that while you can't protect me from strange sounds or potential intruders, you can and will force all 50lbs of you into my lap and be scared with me.
But most of all, thank you for redefining love for me. True, selfless, unconditional, unrelenting love. I'm convinced God gave us dogs to be examples of love. To remind us that love, in its purest form is patient. It's kind. It keeps no record of wrongdoings. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I'm convinced God gave me you - and all of your uncanny quirkiness - to remind me of His love. And for that I am eternally grateful.
Happy 1st Birthday, bug. Sorry about the hat.