You big furry yellow mutt. I remember the day that Mom first brought you home, a fuzzy homeless puppy somebody had dropped on the steps of her colleague's church. That colleague, knowing a soft touch when she saw one, brought you over to Mom, pleading that she just couldn't take a puppy, and maybe Mom could find a home for you with one of her parishioners? Ha. Mom took one look at your cute brown eyes and adorable fluffy blonde pantaloons, and was a total goner. Not that she admitted as much, of course. "Oh, no," she protested, "of course we can't keep him. This is just a temporary arrangement until I find a better home for him." Fat chance, lady. Dad almost exploded when he came home to find our brood of dogs suddenly expanded. "But six is such a nice round number!" trilled Captain Mommypants perkily.
And of course, you fit right in. You got along with the whole pack, but you and our maniac poodle Zoe quickly became fast friends, romping around the land together like a couple of quasi-homicidal lunatics, practically killing each other in the process. Sometimes people would get nervous watching, but eventually you'd break apart, grinning madly, and trot calmly back to drink water and rest in the shade right next to each other. Oh, man, I loved to watch you two play; it was just pure doggy fun. And I loved to take you on walks in the woods, because for all your energy and exuberance, you were pretty happy to just trot around with me and maybe sit for a spell next to the creek, hoping to catch sight of the beavers. I like how you would sit down right by my side and just lean up against me until I put my arm around you. You, my furry friend, were great fun, but I also appreciated your dignity. While you loved being petted and hugged, you never danced around, panting and jumping and circling wildly. You were patient. Insistent, but patient. "Pet me," you'd command us. "I love you and protect you from dangers in the night. Grant me the belly scratching I am due." I was powerless to resist.
Buddy, you were the greatest. A wonderful guard dog, always happy to see me when I came home, always such a good snuggle-bunny, always with those stylish golden pantaloons swishing around behind your gaily wagging tail. I will miss you, but I hope that wherever you are, you frolic madly in green fields with a friend as dear as Zoe, and that there is somebody there who will put her arm around you as you sit together on the front porch. For what it's worth, I will always remember you at your cuddly best.