Summer has come to a close and it's time to head back to college (YAY!). It's fun to look back on this wonderful four month break after an exhausting yet exciting school year and being away from home for the first time. Now ready to start my sophomore year, I will be embarking on new adventures and memories very soon. However, I have someone very special to thank before I leave home.
My dog's name is Duke (yes, I know...I go to Syracuse and my dog's name is the same as my school's rival). He's a German Shepherd and the most wonderful pet I could ever ask for. So, even though you can't read or speak, here's a note for you, little buddy.
I can't thank you enough for all of the joy you have brought into my life these past two years. Growing up, mom and dad never allowed us to have a pet due to our hectic school, sports, and work schedules, but then, miraculously, after a lot of begging and pleading, you came along. Your puppy stages were filled with silly memories like eating and tearing apart your blankets, chewing up our favorite soccer cleats, and lots and lots of cuddles. I was so excited to take you to the park or on walks because people would marvel at how beautiful you were.
Thank you for always being able to make me smile, no matter how good or bad a day I am having. I know I can lay next to you and you will give me kisses, rest your paw on my hand, or snuggle close because you know something is wrong. I cannot believe how smart you are to sense my emotions like that.
Thank you for showing me that you can overcome anything life throws at you. When your heart failed at such a young age, you pushed through multiple surgeries, lots of pain, and many trips to the animal hospital. You have inspired me to keep going, never give up, and stay strong.
Thank you for always greeting me at the door when I come home and making me feel loved and special. On rough days, it's good to know that someone cares.
Thank you for being so active. You remind me that chasing you around to retrieve my shoe is part of daily cardio. I love how you're so willing to go on walks and swim in the lake with me. You have the spirit of a little kid, always on the go.
Thank you for teaching me perspective. Too often I find myself very stressed and anxious, but when I'm around you, you remind me to enjoy the day, breathe, and be happy.
Thank you for being the best little miracle in my life. You have helped me to forget about a lot of stress in my life, at least for a little while, due to your playful and loving personality.
Thank you for being such a good listener. I constantly tell you stories, secrets, and how I'm feeling, and although I know you don't understand, you're always there.
Thank you for being my best friend. Throughout the days of heartbreak and drama that comes with being a teenager, you have never left my side. I am so excited to be your wingman for many more years to come.
Thank you for being so photogenic. You are without a doubt the most beautiful dog I have ever seen, and you love the limelight. My camera and all social media sites are filled with pictures of you and it brings me so much joy to photograph you.
Overall, thank you for being you. I love you more than life itself and I will miss you incredibly when I leave for school. Promise me one thing: keep being your silly self. Never change.
I love you Dukey.
Your Favorite Family Member