Happy Birthday, Henry

He is the dog I couldn’t live without, and my husband was going to see to it that I didn’t have to.

He is the dog that came home to us even before we got around to getting a new sofa for him to jump on. Which he never did. Unless invited. He still waits. Standing by the sofa, waiting for an “okay” and a pat on the sofa cushion. And then he climbs on. He does not jump. If his blanket, on a rare occasion, is not on his end of the sofa, he waits patiently until you get it and cover the cushion.

He is the dog who adored Piccadilly, trained Chester, convinced Ginger to go in the crate, and liked to go over to his girlfriends Molly and Katie’s house. Cheerio is still a puzzle to him. I wished so badly I could tell him about Piccadilly. My heart broke to think that he lost his best friend and didn’t even know it. Maybe he did, somehow.

He is the dog that I told him once, maybe twice, “stay with me” and he has followed me around everywhere ever since. He is under my feet under my desk as I write this. But he’ll walk better with Chuck off-leash. 

He is the dog who came and gave us a fresh, new, positive focus when we needed one. And has over and over.

He is the deputy, and will report to me or Chuck whatever you do, so be warned. He will stay between me and anyone, even children. He will hide behind Chuck on the very rare couple of times he has been spooked by something. He will fake an injury so that we will rub his paw and make it better.

He loves Lisa, Michelle and Nancy. I’m not sure about anyone else. He’s usually too busy reporting to me or standing watch for us to get a good read. Our excellent trainer, Andy Bunn, once said about him, “There’s a lot of things going on in that head.” He was right.

He may always be an only dog. We can’t imagine life without a dog. But right now, we can’t imagine a life that isn’t just the three of us. It’s working for all of us.

So on the occasion of Henry’s sixth birthday, I write with gratitude that we found him, for what he brings to us, that we get to spend this time with him, and that he will forever be a part of our family. I fell in deep doggy love the first time I ever saw his puppy picture. And while the picture has changed to a handsome grown dog, the love has only grown as well.

Happy birthday, Henry!

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