Dear My Darling Annabelle,

My Baby,

You have taught me more about life than any human ever could, and I continue to learn from you every day. You’ve taught me that when you love someone, you should take every opportunity you have to show them. That you can brighten anyone’s day by simply sitting with them and showing you care, even without saying anything at all. That happiness is truly the key to life; giving it and getting it equally. That you should love everybody and never judge no matter what. That you truly need to enjoy the little things in life, and if you do, you will always be content. That it’s true that all you need is love. That one of the most important things you can give is the gift of laughter. You taught me about responsibility, sacrifice, and the importance of putting the needs of others before yourself. That you need to be very thankful for every little thing and always show your thankfulness. But most of all you taught me and continue to teach me about love, every day.

I’ll never forget the day I got you, how all the puppies frantically jumped up on me to get attention and while I was playing with them, I noticed a big dog pile in the corner of the playpen. I picked up some of the dogs and there on the bottom of pile, being jumped on and chewed on, was the tiny runt of the litter, you. My mom, sister, and I picked you up and you just slept in our arms; there was nothing left to decide, we knew you were the one. My little baby, the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The best decision of my life was you.

You are not the family pet; you are the sixth member of the family, and you know it. You continue to amaze me each and every day with your loyalty, your intelligence, your unconditional love, your beauty, your happiness, and all of the quirky and silly things you do.

I truly do not know how I ever lived without you. You are what I look forward to when I come home. My favorite part of every day is coming home to you; I think the greatest feeling in the world is being greeted by a loving, happy puppy. When you are old and can no longer greet me every day with such excitement and love, I will do it for you so you can experience the joy you give me and the rest of our family every single day.

I can honestly say I love every single thing about you and everything you do. I love how you can tell when someone is sad or sick, and you’ll cuddle with them and lick their face until they are better. I love the way you literally bury yourself in the snow in the winter to follow a smell. I love how you’ve never been able to play fetch for over five minutes, after I throw the ball a couple times and you bring it (almost) back to me, you start giving me a look that says “why don’t YOU get it?” I love how we encouraged you not to bark since you were young, so now when you feel the need to bark, you “sing” instead; and I’ve learned over the years that everyone loves a singing dog. I love how your face expresses your emotions so well, like how you make your angry face when I put hats on you or give you a bath.

And I love your “guilty” face, for instance when I came downstairs the morning after baking Christmas cookies, half of them were missing and I instantly knew it was you, not only because your face and paws were covered in sprinkles, but because of the “Oh no, am I in trouble?” face you looked at me with. It is absolutely impossible to be mad at that face; all my family and I could do was laugh and tell you it’s okay. I love how incredibly intelligent you are, how I was able to teach you to how to sit on command in 10 minutes when you were only 8 weeks old, and now you know and respond to over 30 words including “car”, “kiss”, “bed”, “upstairs”, and the names of every one of your family members including your favorite doggy cousin, Ginger. I love how in the winter you are so small you can’t run through the deep snow so you have to leap through it to get anywhere, and your fur gets so covered in snowballs that sometimes you can’t move until I melt them off with warm water.

I love how when my family was considering getting a dog, one of the concerns my dad and sister had was “We’ll get sick of it after a while”, but the reality is that we all love you more and more every day we spend with you. I love how my dad was the one who was against getting a dog, but you made him fall so in love with you that I’ll often find him rubbing your belly and talking to you in a baby voice. I love how you get angry with me and ignore me for hours when I try to make you swim in the river, even though you’re such a good swimmer. I love how when I put your dinosaur costume on you for Halloween, you ran and hid under my bed because you were so embarrassed, and when I took you to go show my friends, you walked to them with your head down and your tail between your legs, so ashamed.

I love how you can sit on the top of the couch and gaze out the window for hours on end, which is where the nickname “kitty” stemmed from; and I love how you got so used to being called that, you began responding to it. I love kissing your cold, wet puppy nose. I love how when you think you’re in trouble, you’ll give us the puppy eyes and hesitantly roll over for a belly rub, your absolute favorite thing in the world. I love falling asleep cuddled up nose to nose with you. I love your new found love for digging, and how one of your favorite things to do is go into the woods and just dig holes for hours. I love how you can be sleepy and cuddly one moment and hyper and ready to play the next.

I love how every time I look at you I get blown away at how a creature so perfect exists. I love how loudly you snore when you’re deep in sleep and how I can tell what you’re dreaming about by the way you twitch. I love how you can read my mind, and can always tell when I’m about to take you on a walk even before I tell you. I love how when you can tell we’re going on a trip, you stick so closely to my side just to make sure we don’t forget you and leave you behind. I love the way you gaze so lovingly into people’s eyes. I love how much you love to lick; I don’t think there’s any dog in the world that licks people as much as you do.

I love how you smell; your fur is my favorite smell in the world. I love how you can’t go to bed at night without your Dixie cup full of water. I love the way you smile when you run and play outside, how your tongue hangs out the side of your mouth and your ears fly back when you run. I love the way you cock your head when you hear words you love like “treat” and”walk”. I love how when you want attention, you reach out with your paw and set it gently on my chest or lap, and it’s just so darn cute it never fails.

I love the love and knowledge in your eyes. I love how when I look into them, I feel like we can actually communicate. I love how soft your fur always is and I love burying my face in it. I love how amazing you’ve always been with young children and other animals, even when you were a month old. I remember when I brought you to my friend’s house whose cat had just had kittens; you picked up one of the kittens gently in your mouth and carried it around the house so happily, with only the best intentions of course. I love how even though you’re already four years old, everyone you meet still thinks you’re a little puppy because of your gorgeous puppy face that will never, ever get less adorable. I love that we have never, ever met a single person that didn’t fall head over heels in love with you.

I love how I can bring you everywhere with me because you bring nothing but joy to people so everyone wants to have you around. I love how when I tell people that I can’t go out because I have to stay at home to spend time with my dog they think I’m so weird, and I just tell them “you’ll understand when you have kids of your own”. I love that you know the meaning of “I love you”, and you wag your tail and lick my face whenever I say it which, to me, means you’re saying it right back.

You make me happier than anything else in this entire world and I love you more than you could ever imagine and more than I could ever express. The greatest joy of my life has been watching you grow. You make life beautiful to me and so worthwhile; and I try my hardest to do the same for you. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve given me and how truly amazing you have made my life. I thank God every night that I am the lucky person who gets to experience you every day. You are my whole life, baby, and I love you to the moon and back a billion times, and that will never change.

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, forever and ever and ever babydoll.

Love always,

Mommy


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