This one's for you, Rascal.
When you give a girl a dog, you give her just the right dose of insanity. Maybe it's stealing an entire hoagie right from dad's plate. Maybe it's scaling all the way up the playhouse and getting totally stuck at the top. Maybe it's wanting a treat so badly that you gnaw on your humans until they give you a rawhide so they can go to school tomorrow without puncture wounds (or as we called them, "love marks".) You give that girl this little thing that contains so much wild and crazy that she's always on her toes, but it's nothing that cute those little puppy dog eyes can't fix.
When you give a girl a dog, you give her a companion that ages as she does. Maybe it starts out as an eight-year-old running around in circles chasing a puppy that won't give back the lid to her glue stick. As you approach the teenage years, this puppy evolves into a pro wingman for that boy from your neighborhood who you thought was so darn cute, and he is willing to pretend he needs to walk around the block 12 times just so you can "casually" bump into this teenage twerp. As you grow into a literal couch potato, your four-legged pal is ready to embrace that stage of life as well. As much as you two battle it out for prime real estate on the couch... you know that you wouldn't have it any other way.
When you give a girl a dog, you give her a best friend-- one that takes up permanent residency in your family and in your heart.
On Monday, November 20, I had to say goodbye to my own best friend. When I left for work that morning, I did not know that was going to be my last day with him. I did not know when I came home and helped him get off of his bed to go outside, that was going to be my last little walk with him. When I woke up from my nap, I did not know that I was going to get a call from my crying mother that today was the day, and we couldn't let him live in pain any longer. I laid on the floor with him and cried until my glasses were so smudged that I couldn't see. When I hugged him tightly to me on his way out the door for the last time, a little part of me held on to the hope that he'd walk back in. When my mom came home without my boy, I sobbed so violently that I probably accidentally ran a few neighbors out of their homes.
Rascal Michelle (I'm really sorry we named you during our Full House phase,) you taught me so much in this life. You came into our lives as the little ragamuffin that people never thought they'd get rid of, and you sure showed them when you came home in our arms! There's an empty spot in my heart that will always be there now; it is meant for no one but you. I love you so much buddy, and we will see each other again soon. Behave yourself up there!