Dear Espen,

Well old man, your 9th birthday is just 10 days away and with it just around the corner, I feel compelled to do my very best at putting my love for you in words.

I still remember when they set that 7-week-old squirmy, chubby fur ball in my arms. I was given no option as to whether I would receive a boy or girl–your life plan was predetermined. You would spend your first two years in my care, learning how to assist and live your years building bridges between children and their peers.
In that first 2 years you learned so much and used your loving nature to win over the hearts of all whom met you. When I sent you on that plane to California, it was the most devastating day of my entire life. Sitting on an exit ramp, I replayed the memories of your first snow, eating that woman’s purse at work, learning that you could no longer stand under the coffee table– and destroying every rug, plant and toy that crossed your path. But mostly the look of pride that would cross your beautiful eyes every time I snapped your assistance cape across your warm belly. For two months, I sat by the phone. I wanted you to do good in this world, I wanted you to build bridges and move mountains for a child. But it was so hard to push my selfishness aside, I wanted you home with me.
The story of the day the call came in is a favorite during the holidays. Grandpa still laughs when he talks about me driving through his rose bushes, running into the house, and at the age of 23, jumping up and down on his bed screaming, “He’s coming home!”
Though I was sad that you didn’t get to live out your plan, six years later, you are still worth every penny to fly you home first class!

In these years, there is no longer a cape to strap on, but I see that same look of pride in your face from all the times you allowed me to cry into your beautiful fur to the moment you laid eyes on my son and ensured that his face and hands were always clean. You have loved me with every ounce of your being and I cannot thank you enough for all you have done. You forever will be my first true love.

I watch your beautiful face whiten and your body sometimes not wanting to cooperate, I cant help but wish that I could rewind time. Maybe your life plan took a different turn, but in our life, you sir, have moved mountains.
I love you old man!

Breed: Lab


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