I remember when we picked you up from the breeder. You and your 20 siblings were rolling and tumbling over each other, too young to be coordinated enough to walk. But we found you. I wanted you because you were the last of your siblings, like me, and we missed sharing a birthday by mere hours. We named you Benedict. Like eggs-benedict, not Benedict Arnold. You had the softest puppy ears, the cutest puppy belly, and the most wonderful puppy smell. You completed our family.
You began to grow. We put a tassel on the styrofoam cup that held your ears after you had them clipped and we laughed and called you Abu. You broke our hearts when you nursed on your blanket because you missed your mom. But we kept a stash of extras so you could ruin as many as you wanted. You grew to love each one of us, greeting us with a big smile whenever we walked in the door. You went to attack school and made friends with bigger, meaner dogs, but came home and snuggled and lounged in the sunshine. Our happy protector.
You were a wonderful dog. The best. We played and wrestled, but you were always gentle with the babies. If I ever cried, you would slowly approach my side, lay down, and lick my tears. This would start an incredible waterfall of drool, which drenched my face, and made me laugh. Your love was abounding and you brought light into our hearts. Sometimes you’d try to run away, but we’d find you, and you’d hop back in the car so we could go home.
I will miss you. I know you are happy, you were always happy. So run free, chase some squirrels, eat some snow, and lay in the sunshine, Benny. And know you were loved.