You became part of our family on St. Patrick’s Day. We met you at the park in Sedgwick. You came from a litter of at least four others and had the curliest tail and were the most gregarious out of all your siblings. The breeder named you Snuggles I, as stated on the receipt when we bought you. We changed your name to something less cutesy, as there were enough names like Snowball in your lineage. Did you know your name means beauty mark in Russian? We didn’t either when we named you that. We just liked the sound of it.
Before we had you, I thought it was a little funny to hear pet owners refer to themselves as Mommy and Daddy, never thinking I'd be one of "those people". But I never had a pet as special as you and it just fit. Especially since you were our "child" before our child, for 15 years our only "baby". Our moms even called you "grand-dogger". You taught me that I would need to be tougher and not give in and spoil our children, if and when we had any.
We started out feeding you only dog food, but somehow when one of us started giving you people food the other gave in as well. Animal crackers, baby carrots, and Daddy's french fries--oh my! Of course you loved meat, but oh how you would go crazy when I would fix a turkey breast! Like it was catnip for dogs!
Do you remember when we used to run together? You ran 5 miles with me once! And remember running at the park with Grandma and me? How you took a dip in the lake halfway around? You loved to chase geese and squirrels and especially bunnies! Thank you for never actually catching them; although, you did catch baby mice. Whenever we were out walking or running at the parks, people would comment on how pretty you were and ask what kind of dog you were. You sure hated anything with wheels that would pass us by and especially bark at the rollerbladers.
Of course, we had to give all of your toys silly names--Pistachio Man, Chocolate Bunny, Aslan, Super-Carrot, Magilla Gorilla, Booda, Burpee Boy, tennis balls, Mushiball, chewies, rubber duckies, of course "Baby". Daddy even put up cardboard stops around the couch and loveseat so Mushiball wouldn't roll under them and you could keep playing.
What a great co-worker you were! You made my work day much shorter. You came to remind me when I hadn't gotten up in awhile and it was time to take our break together.
Forgiveness seemed to come natural to you. When we stepped on you or had to discipline, you wouldn't hold a grudge.
You were my comfort three years ago during the hardest year of my life, grieving the loss of my mother (the closest bond I had ever known) and the physical distance of the other most important person in my life, your daddy. While missing the two people whom I loved and who loved me the most, you were there. Thank you for greeting me happily so I didn't have to come home to an empty house.
You left us the day after your least favorite day of the year, the Fourth of July. You hated fireworks. Sorry you had to spend your last night so sick and having to tolerate them.
It was a wonderful 15 years having you as a companion. I knew it couldn’t last forever. Yes, you were just a dog, but made our lives so much better. You were only in our son's life for three short months, and I hope someday he has a dog as special as you.
Visit Yosemite or, oh heck, visit every national park in the U.S.
A really good pot is in the details. --Doug Casebeer at the Ceramics Workshop in Jamaica '10
There's only one way to grow while making art: take risks and allow yourself to make a lot of bad work, then look at it. I consider what is working well, what missed the mark or confused the reading, what needs to be adjusted on the next one. --Linda Arbuckle in The Penland Book of Ceramics
All great actions have been simple, and all great pictures are. --Ralph Waldo Emerson