Dear Furry Puddin',
One year ago, your papa and I drove 3 1/2 hours to Kansas City to see about adopting a dog named Chester. We instead came home with you, and it was one of the best things that has ever happened to us.
We've learned a lot about you in the past year. You just had your 8th birthday, for starters. You still love walks and belly rubs and can't wait until we take your collar off at night. It took us forever to find toys that you like, but we have since figured out that you prefer toys that look like animals. Your favorite is the hedgehog.
It's also been a difficult year. It seems that you've had one health issue after the other. You have had constant digestion problems since we got you, then you got hurt in November, you bit your grandpa, and you tore your ACL last month. You're the pickiest eater I know; we have to buy you the most expensive kibble and mix in boiled chicken and you still won't eat it sometimes. Your gas could kill a grown man; you don't get along with children or other animals; you can't get examined or your nails trimmed without having to be muzzled.
But you also love to snuggle. You get so excited when we get home, and you hate to see us leave. You keep me company when your papa is gone; without you, I'd have to go almost a whole summer without any company. You don't like my singing but will tolerate it. You knock on doors when you want to come inside or outside. You love to roll around on the living room rug. You stayed in my office last night to watch me do yoga.
Your love for the outdoors has made me more active. Your timidness has made me calmer. Your happiness has made me happy. Your love has made me love.
We didn't choose you, Rex; you chose us.
And you've made our family whole.