To my human,
I love you, too.
I really do. I know I’ve never been able to say it to you like you say it to me. If I could talk, you know I would. But come on, you should know I do.
You should know I love you from when I’d sit in the front window waiting for you to come home every day. Also, from when I would hop up and down on my hind legs the second you’d walk in the door and sometimes scratch your legs or rip your stockings. I’m really sorry for that, I never did it on purpose.
You should know I love you from the times I pawed at your chest and then nuzzled my face into your belly. I could’ve kept it there for hours while you’d scratch behind my ears. You should know I love you from the slobber stains I’d leave on your pants, as I clung to you under the dinner table. It wasn’t always just because I wanted food, even if I did love your cooking.
You should know I love you from the times that I’d lick your nose when you’d smush your face next to mine for a kiss. Or those times that I’d stick my tongue up your nostrils. Or even when I’d try to lick inside your mouth when it was open. If that’s not love I don’t know what is.
You should know I love you because even if you had just stepped on my tail, I’d never get mad and run away from you. I know you were just rushing around the house. You were probably doing something for me because you always were.
You should know I love you because when you’d throw a ball, or a stick, or a bone, or a rolled up sock I would always go fetch it. Not all dogs do that, you know. I wasn’t always in the mood, but I did it for you. I’m sorry for the past couple of years, though. I know I haven’t been able to perform my best, to react so quickly, to run so fast, to see so well.
You should know I love you because of the time I stuck my teeth into the leg of that a**hole down the street. I know you were mad about it, embarrassed, but he was being a jerk to you and I wouldn’t allow that. You’re my human. You should know I love you because you’re my human.
You should know I love you because I slept at the foot of your bed every night for 13 years. And I know you love me because you’re not ready for that spot to be empty.
I know that you love me, not just because you say it multiple times a day. I know you love me because you care for me like you care for the kids. I know you love me because the couches are covered in my favorite blankets and there are plushy beds for me in every room of the house. I know you love me because you don’t throw me nasty kibble in a bowl on the floor. You buy the good stuff that’ll keep me big and strong, and sometimes you even pour the leftover steak juice on it for me.
I know you love me because you’d take me to every park in the city. You always kept me on a leash. I hated that damn leash. But I know you love me because you were too nervous that something might happen to me if you let me run free. And I know you love me because you’d still run back and forth and in circles with me until we’d fall on our backs into the grass trying to catch our breath. I’m sorry for losing your trust and running out the front door that time when I was a puppy. I was just so curious as to what was out there. I know you love me because I saw the terror in your eyes as I started to make my way to the main road. I know you love me because you chased after me and tried your hardest to coax me back to you. I felt myself warm and safe in your arms minutes later. I know you love me because I felt it.
I know you love me because you pay way too much money to buy my favorite bully bones in bulk. I know because I heard you complaining to the company about it on the phone once. “How could your prices have gone up that much in a couple of weeks . . . yeah I’ll keep my order, two bags of 50.” I’m sorry for that time I made a mess and pulled every one out of the bag at once. I couldn’t decide which bone I wanted to chew on first. I know that you love me because even though you yelled at me initially, you looked at me seconds later and couldn’t help but smirk and giggle.
I know that you love me because of the Christmas stocking that has my name on it and gets filled with toys and treats every year. And because of the doggie treat birthday cakes you’d make me every birthday. I know that you love me because from my 1st to my 13th you never missed one.
I know that you love me because you’d snuggle me and hold me tight during thunderstorms and fireworks. I know you love me because you’d hush me until I fell fast asleep so I’d be unharmed by the scary sounds. “Shhh. It’s okay, buddy, it’s okay. Shhh. . .”
I know that you love me because you’d try to disguise my medicine in people food. I knew it was there. I’ve always known. I’m sorry for being difficult and spitting out the pill for the first few weeks. I know you love me because I heard you crying to the vet about how you couldn’t get me to take it and how you were scared I’d get sicker. I started taking it after that. I didn’t like seeing you sad. I still don’t.
I know you love me because I see you sad right now. I see you not wanting to leave me. Tears stream down your face. I’d be doing the same if my physiology allowed for it. “I can’t. I can’t let go,” you say. But you can, it’s okay. I promise you can. You’ve given me so much. You’ve given me 13 amazing years. You’ve loved me with everything you’ve got. And you don’t need to stop. I won’t stop loving you either. But you do need to let me go. Keep me in your heart, but keep your heart open. It’s okay to love another dog. I see the way you look at me. I can see in your eyes that you love me. You should know I love you because I look at you the same way. And you might not be able to tell that’s the look in my eyes, but it is. I’m telling you right now that it is.
I know you love me. I love you, too.
Your furry best friend
P.S. Really, please don’t worry about me. I’ve heard Puppy Heaven is great. There are giant bully bones everywhere to chew on, lots of fuzzy blankets to snuggle under, and infinite amount of objects/friends to hump.