It has come to my attention, in this month of love, that before the boyfriends, girlfriends, children, jobs and moves, there was one thing that has loved me through it all: you!
You patiently waited all day for the squeak of the door to open on the first day of my new job. You heavily nosed my significant other as to say "welcome" on our first date. You've laid with me as I cried, licked me when I was down, and walked with me when I needed exercise.
I love you. But our relationship hasn't always been perfect. In fact, it's been one of--dare I say it--compromise, on my end.
I have been the victim of thousands of cold nose nuzzles on the coldest days of the year and hundreds of hot, breathy pants on the hottest days.
I have taken you on hikes in the winter and drug you through icy patches as you stand like a statue on all fours because you are afraid of slipping, and in the fall had my clothes recolored in brown as you find every mud puddle on either side of the trail. In spring, I've chased you every time you were distracted by a bee, squirrel, dog, rabbit...and in the summer I've been showered in a bath of dog hair and river water as you shake off your spontaneous dip as close to me as possible.
We've had many adventures together camping as well, where despite lugging your bed to the campsite, you try to cozy up next to me inside my tiny sleeping bag then howl all night long at every cricket, rodent or snake that slithers within a hundred yards of camp. And when we're at home, I sacrifice at least three-quarters of my bed to your canine comfort.
There's never day when your water bowl doesn't have a puddle surrounding it and giant, soggy pieces of kibble floating in it. But no worries, if that's not fresh enough, you find your way to the "watering bowl" (as you like to think of it) where I always manage to sit down on a combination of cold toilet water and foamy dog spit splattered all over the toilet seat.
Sometimes I think to myself: there must be a better roommate for me. One that feeds themselves, has a job and smells a little better when they get out of the shower. But then I think of just how short our time together really is. One day, you won't be there to greet me with a giant bound as I come through the door, or motivate me to go for that rainy day walk. That three-quarters of the bed will feel empty and that sleeping bag too large.
As it turns out, Dog, you are the love of my life. Your purity, heart, conviction, patience and excitement add meaning to everything we do together, and I just want to say...I love you and thank you for being my dog.
Be My Valentine,