I grew up with you, and then I watched you grow old. For 14 years you loved our family and greeted us each morning with your puppy smile. I'll never forget those first few years of life with you.
As you and your playful soul grew, so did my love for you. I have memory upon memory of you romping around on the carpet in our living room, eagerly seeking to engage us in a playful endeavor. Your tail would wag and your tongue would flop as you ran around in circles sharing your unbridled joy with us all. I'd then find one of your many toys and send it careening through air for you to dash across the living room in a tizzy.
As you continued to grow, so did your excitement and optimism for new feats of playfulness. Even in the sweltering heat of July, you would tear across the backyard in search of lost toys and a space to play. You'd run circles non-stop and I could never keep up with you! But as soon as both of us were tired, a nice swim would cool us both down. I would sit on the pool stairs next to you, both of us drenched after a dip, and just listen to you pant away while you still held your puppy smile. You were satisfied with yet another day filled with laughter, play, and companionship.
Even in your youth, you still had your moments of love and calm. I can remember the days when we would all sit as a family watching TV and you would sit quietly at our feet. Then when the time came, you would come and rest your head on the empty seat next to me and give me those big old puppy dog eyes. You always wanted to sit on the couch, and I always eventually caved. A quick two slaps on the seat and you would enthusiastically jump on to comfortably join me.
And the one thing I'll never forget about you Lexie was your insatiable hunger! Scores of cakes and cookies left on the kitchen counter were lost to you over the years. And even after a day of looting, you'd come to us at the kitchen table to rest your head on my leg to beg for more food (and once more I couldn't resist).
As you got on in age, you began to grow a white beard which stood out on your chocolate fur. You were no longer running around as frequently as you once had, but you still had every desire to play. But the one thing that never disappeared was that beautiful puppy smile. And so as I write this goodbye to you on February 2nd of 2019, I want you to know that we all love and miss you. You were a beacon of hope for our family, and you never let your ailments dampen your wonderful spirit. I'll never forget you or the times we had. I know now that you can finally steal all the cookies and cakes you want! While today might have been sad, I will forever remember all the joy you brought to us. Here's to you Lexie, my best friend of 14 years. I hope one day I can see your puppy smile once more.