Dear Palmer,

Dear Palmer,

You have not been a member of our family for long but now that you’re here, there is a distinct feeling that something significant was missing before. When we saw you for the first time at a mere 4 weeks old, we knew you were the one. Your father was won over by the white wisp of fur on your right hip, your eager appetite, and the fact that you were a shameless back-sleeper, while I simply looked at you and had a feeling.

Since the day you came home with us on June 26, our days have been filled with more laughter, love, and affectionate dog kisses than we could have known we were missing before. Between your insistence on barking with a baseball in your mouth, your new found love for hunting and gathering sticks at 6:00am, finding your voice through awkward howls that both scare and surprise you, and the frantic, chaotic excitement that erupts when someone utters the words “chow, chow” you are constantly finding ways to make me laugh, especially when I need it most.

Perhaps the thing I love most about you, however, is the way that you look at me: with complete trust, a gentle reassurance, and a quiet protective (but not possessive) loyalty. Without trying at all and without looking too hard, you are able see the best version of me. To you, it is right in front of you and is the only version of me you can manage to find. You fail to notice my clothing, my profession, or my pedigree and you love me whole-heartedly any way. When I am discouraged and it feels as if everyone else is offering an opinion or a judgment, you only have to make eye contact for me to understand that you love me and you trust me to make the right decision. Your voice and your opinion simply do not matter because you trust me that much. Your trust in me is that generous, that encouraging, and that selfless.

Thank you for making me laugh, for throwing all of your body weight on my back in the morning in an effort to cuddle, for ensuring that I never dance alone in the kitchen while making dinner, for being so excited to see me each time I come home, for so enthusiastically seeing the best in everyone and wanting to greet them accordingly, and for trusting me as you do. To simply say “I love you” falls short of how I feel but I am hopeful that I can make it up to you in tummy rubs, frequent trips to the beach, and sharing my pillow and the occasional piece of chicken from my plate.

Our family was incomplete without you and we can only thank you for the ways in which you’ve blessed our lives to date. We can only look forward to the many laughs and memories to come.

Your mom
(Emily C. Kraper)

Dear Mokie,

Dear Mokie,

The other night when we were in bed lazily watching a television show, you unexpectedly jumped into bed and onto my lap, and you are not small. It appears the fire alarm in the show was making you nervous so we shut off the program and allowed you to sleep stretched out among us. As half my body dangled from the bed (a queen, by the way) I felt you relax and then I felt you pee on me because you are incontinent in your old age. And yet despite this extreme discomfort and the fact that you smelled like a 3 month old sponge after a weekend of swimming, I wouldn’t have dreamed of kicking you off. That is just how much I love you.

I am so comforted by your presence everywhere I go. You even sit right outside the tub as I take a shower, a site that I cannot seem to get over no matter how many times I see it. I love to hear that contented sigh before you drift off to sleep. I know how much you love me, but I recognize that it is our son Vincent you are interested in protecting most. For this, I am indebted to you. I will even forgive you for your loud barking and waking him from his nap because I know you were just doing your job. I apologize heartily if unkind words were said to you in anger!

Sometimes when we climb the stairs of our apartment I can read your big cow eye expression as trepidation and pain. I know those stairs are beginning to hurt you a little and it hurts me too because I know you are an old girl and you are slowing down. Don’t fret, Mokie, there is no amount of money that I won’t spend on adequin shots for you. And there will be a day when you are not by my side anymore. It is a thought too hard to bear but your memory will live on and so will the fur that you have shed on all of our clothing and furniture. I intend to honor you by not vacuuming. But for now you are here panting your sweet perfume breath in my face and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

I love you!

Megan DeWeerdt
and Ian and Vincent too

Dear Kahlo Dogtown,