Nisa – Photo by Michael Sharp
My Dearest Fuzzbutt,
Seven years ago you leaped into my lap and licked my ear. It was love at first kiss. To this day I am amazed at how your body wiggles with such vigor as you wag your tail upon my return. No matter how long I have been gone, be it 30 minutes or six weeks, your joy at our reunion has always been, and will always be a blessing. Together, in the past seven years, we have skied countless days, in blizzards and under perfect blue skies, under moonlight and stars. We have hiked endless miles, over rocks, up mountains, down desert canyons and along remote beachesâ€¦in every type of weather: driving rain, bitter cold, bighting wind, crushing heat, whiteout and in the dark of night, a night so black that I thought we would disappear into some hidden abyss.
You are perpetually ready, always making a mockery of the preparedness of firefighters and paramedics. You are the admiral on our sailboat, a key member of the crew in the greatest adventure of our lives thus far. Our journey to Alaska has brought us thousands of miles, through some of the worst weather I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing, to the most spectacular place I have ever been. You are my greatest ambassador and loyal point scout. You are a beach explorer extraordinaire. You serve on this crew as chief whale detector, bear spotter and salmon wrangler. You diligently defend wherever we call home from the constant threat of your arch enemies: squirrels and birds. I know you will never defeat them; I suspect you are aware of this fact, yet you charge after them with every fiber of your being.
More than being a faithful companion and a daily source of joy, you are one of the greatest teachers I have ever known. Your lessons are as powerful as those taught me by the mountains, by the rivers, by the ocean. You have taught me love. What it means to love and to be loved. You have taught me that everyone is deserving of a big HOWDY! That everyone will smile if smiled to.
These past seven years you have stood atop many mountains, walked countless miles. You preference for organic strawberries and disdain of regular strawberries is the stuff of legend. Your Wooo is one of the greatest gifts from upon high.
Today marks the end of our seventh year together. 2557 days. 2557 amazing, wonderful and precious days. Days filled with head rubs, morning snuggles, doggie dreams and of course Milkbones.
Thank you for coming to me, for sharing your life with me. You are one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I canâ€™t wait to see what the next 2557 days and beyond bring.
There before the grace of you, go I.
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