“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
– Josh Billings
I’ll be the first to admit it – I am that person. The one that treats my pups the same way my friends treat their human babies, because they’re the closest things we’ve ever had to them. Tim and I both came from very non-dog friendly households growing up (although my mom loves being a “Grammy” to our pups now), so I was pleasantly surprised at how we gravitated toward them once we moved out on our own a couple years back. Our little loves are named Kado and Harlow, and we adopted them both from local adoption agencies back home. They are Labrador mixes that some have said almost look like they came from the same litter. They are polar opposites in a handful of ways, but similar enough now to not completely drive us crazy. Despite coming from different places and backgrounds, they love each other like siblings now and it’s one of the sweetest things I’ve ever witnessed. These guys are truly some of my best friends, and the extraordinary bond we share runs deep, and today, I’m going to share that with all of you.
We weren’t exactly your first, but you know we’ll be your last. Kado had been someone’s pet that got away, and had been picked up by animal control and ended up in the shelter. Harlow had been born out in the wild and was completely feral until two weeks before we’d adopted her, at which point she was being fostered by another family. Despite their less-than-ideal starts, we’ve both unanimously found forever with each other, and I could not have asked for anything or anyone better.
We brought you into our house, but you helped make it a home. We had just moved into our first apartment when we went out and adopted Kado, with Harlow following a few months after. They were the missing pieces there that brought the whole place together. You came in and snuggled right into our beds and our hearts and that was exactly where you were meant to be.
We taught you tricks and things, but you teach us even more about what matters. Potty training, the correction of “bad” behavior, or attempting to teach new tricks name just a few of the seemingly endless things we’ve worked on over the years. But no matter how difficult or frustrating those may be, they’ve forced us to build our patience and understanding, along with other valuable traits we use in other aspects of everyday life.
We love you so deeply, yet you always somehow love us more. I know dogs are smarter than people give them credit for. That first year that Tim was away, these pups are a bigger crutch than I ever intended for them to be. Where people failed me (and boy, did they throughout that time), our guys never did. That doesn’t make me anti-people; it just makes me very pro-pupper. I’d honestly never known this breed of unconditional love before them.
We may have rescued you, but really, I think you ended up rescuing us. There’s something to be said about a wordless connection you share with a member of a different species, especially of this caliber. They know when I’m sad and love me a little extra those days. They lick away my tears. They share in my joy no matter what. They love me even when everything goes wrong, and the feeling is more than mutual.
I don’t think everyone can understand or relate to how I feel about our dogs. And that’s okay – I don’t expect them to. Call it crazy, call it over-the-top, call it what you will, but at the end of the day, (I’d like to think) they know how loved they are and they reciprocate that how they can. That’s what matters for me. I anticipate and honestly can’t wait for what we’ll encounter in the years to come; more moves, new sights and places, human kids eventually. But no matter where we find ourselves going forward, I’ll always be grateful to God for placing these sweet furry babes in our lives.