To My Dearest Lola, My Best Friend,

All my life, I was a dog lover – but I never had a dog because my parents didn’t allow it. I used to love going to my grandma and grandpa’s house to play with their dog, a toy poodle named Peppi. I knew that one day, I would own my own dog, but I didn’t realize what that truly meant.

The day I picked you out, I was so excited to bring you home that when the breeder said I had to come back in a week, I began to cry. I needed you right then and there! I impatiently waited for one week and drove out by myself to bring you home. I was so busy being excited, that I set-up the crate the wrong way and within a few miles of leaving the breeder’s, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw your big paws and adorable face peeking over the back seat. I pulled over and put you in my lap (note to self, not a smart idea – see Marley & Me!) and stopped at Granny’s house to introduce you. Everyone thought I was crazy. I was crazy in love, that’s for sure.

Lola – from the minute you came into my life, you gave me purpose. I was very sad after losing my dad and my sister and you comforted me everyday by giving me a reason to be excited to come home. The countless kisses and snuggling in bed is what got me through the toughest times. You kissed every tear from my face and when dad was away on business, you never left my side when I was scared. No human can provide that sense of unselfish calm. You are an amazing creature.

People used to love talking to me on the phone and hearing my crazy dog stories… like the time you ate the entire order of wings from BW-3 and I had you at the ER petrified for what would happen; or the time you ate the birthday cake off the counter that I had just baked – I couldn’t even yell at you because you looked so cute with a pile of frosting on your little black nose; how about when you ate through my pillowtop mattress- but again, I blamed myself for leaving Animal Planet on for the short time I was at the store – thinking you were scared you wouldn’t get to eat, so you ate what was in front of you. Or the time you flunked out of training class and we had to leave without your puppy diploma and picture! Time after time, frustration after frustration, experience after experience – I fell more and more in love with your personality – as devious as it was!

I taught you how to dance. You taught me how to laugh again. I taught you how to kiss. You taught me how to love again.

We’ve shared so many memories that are etched in my heart and mind forever. When Gina died – you never left my side for week – not even to go to the bathroom. When I was pregnant with Grady, you laid your head on my belly and soothed me. The day I brought him home, you impressed me with your ability to love him as much as me, and protect him with everything you have. Now, I watch the love you teach through his eyes and I am so grateful that my life was blessed with you.

From today, til forever, no one will ever take the place you have in my heart. I love you forever and know my life has been enriched from lessons I learned from you.

Call me crazy dog lady – and I happily reply…

Yours Always,
Mama (LAMA – our Hollywood name)

Breed: Labrador Retriever

To My One and Only Mac (Macalicious),

After getting Lola in 2005, I really wanted to find the perfect companion for her (and me!) in 2007. I looked in breeder ad after breeder ad, searching for the perfect Chocolate pup! I remember driving about an hour and a half to meet you. You were hanging with your baby brother and I honestly wanted to take you both – but, I knew I could only pick one. There was something about you and my gravitation to you. I told dad I wasn’t leaving without you.

I still gush over the pictures of how tiny you were next to your big sister Lola. You got right into the family mix and took a lot from her! I watch you both today and love how inseparable you are. You have the sweetest personality I’ve ever seen.

I decided to send you to puppy camp to get you trained, learning from Lola’s experience! It was such a hard week being away from eachother, but made it even more special when I came and picked you up. You were the perfect student – and learned your commands just right! To this day, I never have to worry about you because you come on command and never want to disappoint.

We had a rough start with potty training – but regardless, it was worth every minute. Just more baths for you, and you looked extra cute and fluffy all the time.

You started off as a daddy’s boy. In fact, it wasn’t until I was pregnant, that you changed your tune! You were at my feet every night and sitting at the bedside. When I went into labor, I remember being crunched down on the floor and it was you licking my face and whimpering. The thought of being away for a few days while Grady came into our world worried me, but I knew when I came home, it would be as I never left. As just as expected, you immediately became Grady’s ‘big brother’ and taught him the ropes!

Since then, you’ve become much more of a cuddler and though you stay out of Grady’s way, you look out for him and protect him just as you have me. Grady loves being able to stand on you, grab your ears, stick his fingers in your mouth and you, as sweet as you are, just let him without a flinch!

I have such a soft spot for you as you were a ‘mama’s boy’ first! I think about how sad life would have been had I not found you and brought you home – and I see the best friendship you and Lola have and it teaches me the importance of loyalty and companionship.

I love you so much, Mac. Thank you for continuing to bring added meaning into my life and for loving me for who I am. You, too, have touched my life in a way that no human could compare. And like Lola, there is a special place etched in my heart forever. The two of you are irreplaceable and I am grateful everyday to have been blessed with your love.

Yours truly,

Breed: Labrador Retriever

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