Dear Timbit Monster,
I’ve been struggling with what to say to commemorate your third adoption anniversary. That’s my excuse for tardiness, anyway. You don’t mind, do you?
Of course not. You’re a dog. You didn’t even notice that we didn’t buy you any presents this year. I knew you wouldn’t care but your male human felt pretty guilty about it. I do wish we had a good reason other than procrastination. We’ll get you something cool soon, I promise. Even though I revoked your Shiva the Destroyer title, I know you still enjoy a good stuffed-toy gutting every now and then.
I suppose I should outline all your accomplishments and remark on how much you have changed. But honestly? I don’t know if you have changed that much. Not really. You are still the same goofball who walked through our door that first day and immediately got into a fight with The Cat. You still have far more energy than you know how to control and you still dive toward every bag you see in the hope it is filled with treats meant just for you.
It’s we who have changed.
Thanks to you, I now have perspective. I no longer feel like crying when you act like you’ve never set foot in an obedience class. These days even when you humiliate me by ripping the leash out of my hand to greet a dog on the other side of the road, I just laugh. It doesn’t matter as much anymore if you behave as if you have zero training. Other people’s opinions are becoming meaningless. Through your antics you have shown me how to brush off the things that just don’t matter.
Truthfully – though I’ll deny this if you bring it up in the future – I really appreciate your silliness now. If we make it through three walks in a row without a nutty story to tell, I get worried. The older you get, the more I fear you losing your intrinsic Shiva-ness. Three years ago all I wanted was for you to mature and now I have to say… I am kind of dreading it.
Maybe I’ve just lost my mind. Perhaps all this time I have spent with you has finally pushed me off the edge to La La Land. No one would blame me. I have never been a very patient person. You must be able to relate to that. You have never been a patient dog. Yet somehow instead of killing each other, we have ended up teaching each other. When it comes to you, I am magically able to rein in my frustration. Qutting just isn’t an option. No matter how much you push me, I am able to come back the next day for more. You have taught me all about baby steps and working slowly.
I like to think I have done the same for you.
No matter what happens in the rest of our time together, you will always be my best teacher. You are my first dog and I have no doubt you will be my craziest. I can’t see any other dog in the world matching you for sheer enthusiasm. No one zooms like the Shivster. No one knocks over that dang tire jump as often either. I have a feeling that’s going to be your legacy. You will forever be known by our agility instructor as the dog who broke the most equipment.
Thanks for three very memorable years, Sheevs. I hope we have many more.