My Dearest Capone

February 3rd 2010. Heartbroken and depressed I started scanning craigslist pet section. Sifting through the hundreds of ads I finally came across one. Half Golden Retriever, part lab, and part St Bernard puppies, no picture, born Dec 5th, free to good homes. I called and asked some questions out of curiosity. Ten minutes later I was driving 1 hour 45 min away to go look at three little puppies. I arrived there at 6:30 pm. When I got into the garage I saw an adorable little black puppy. I picked her up, she was black with a white chest. I had almost made up my mind right there until the cutest, biggest, and most clumsy puppy I’d ever seen waddled around the corner, sliding to a halt right in front of me. I immediately bent down to pick you up, and when I did I let out a loud “uhhh” because you were so heavy. You slept with your head on my lap the whole way home. The moment I picked you up you changed my life. I was 18 and did what any girl does when going through a hard breakup, I made a change. Some girls change their hair, get a tattoo, go shopping, I went and got a best friend.

You comfort me and lick away my tears when I’m sad, you entertain me when I’m bored, you provide company when I’m lonely, you make me smile every time I look at you. I love when you shove your rope in my lap when you want to play, the way you make that “arrrr rawwwr garr” sound like you’re trying to talk or singing with the music clock. I love wrestling with you when you dive on my bed in the morning, or when you keep my feet warm at night. I love every moment I spend with you and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You may have been a free puppy, but youre worth so much to me. Sometimes you frustrate me beyond belief, you steal my clothes, my shoes, try to take my keys when I have to leave. You try to become a 110lb lap dog when I’m not giving you my full attention, and you even eat a pillow now and then, but even after all that I can’t stay mad at you. You’re my giant dog child and my best friend, and I don’t know where I would be if you hadn’t came into my life that day.

Dear Ms.,

Dear Farley and Fig,

Dear Farley and Fig,

You have brought such joy and abundant love to our lives. My Farley, I loved you from the moment I saw you. You were a bundle of crazy and eager for affection after spending the first seven months of your life in a crate in a lovely home, but one where the family had no time for you. We decided you deserved better, took you home, fed you by hand, let you sleep in a bed and gave you our full trust. Our home was your home from the moment you bounded through the door. You taught my husband, who never felt a great connection to dogs, about the pure love of a dog. You stayed at his side for months as his finished writing his dissertation. You became his faithful companion, and remain so to this day. You have transformed him into the ultimate mushy, sensitive dog lover, and forever changed him. You are so emotionally intuitive, and I can’t count the number of times you’ve hugged and comforted us when we’ve been sad, sick or in pain. You are overjoyed each and every day to be around us and so appreciative of walks, treats, trips to the beach and just lounging around the house.

As much as we adore you, Farley, we knew you’d be even happier with a friend. We picked Fig, another Golden Retriever, only this one never had a loving home because he was abandoned as a puppy due to a stubborn case of puppy dandruff. A rescue group saved you, Fig, and we were elated to add you to our family. Farley, we also thank you because you never showed a hint of jealousy or resentment toward Fig. You immediately made Fig your best buddy and partner in crime. You taught Fig how to play, wrestle, dash up and down stairs, share, cuddle, and devour toys to get at the squeaker.


Plus, you passed on your love of chewing paper and stealing socks. You’ve had his back when he has his mischievous moments, like when he absconded with a 5-pound bag of flour, ripped it to shreds and buried his face in it, looking more like a drug lord than Golden Retriever. When we came home to discover the powdery mess, you just gave us that look: What? You think I could have stopped this? You two are thick as thieves, so very loving and inseparable. We love you so much and thank you for filling our lives and home with more joy than we imagined possible.

Deb and Jonathan Setliff