As this is our animal issue, I am taking the opportunity to write an unabashed love letter to my beloved goldendoodle Boots.
This month you turn 10 years old! I’ll never forget the day we became a family. It was the day after Thanksgiving and your dad surprised me with an entire litter of goldendoodles, from which to choose one. I almost picked your sister because she immediately sat on my lap. When I could not pick and asked your dad for help, however, he helped choose you—the smallest, most timid of the litter.
You made us a family, even before we were married 10 months later with only you and the officiant in attendance. In fact, we were so inseparable that you went on our long honeymoon weekend. We had a family caricature drawn that weekend that I will always treasure.
You changed our lives substantially. We went from romantic last-minute trips by air to planned drive trips and dog-friendly hotels. We took you everywhere and, unexpectedly, had more opportunities to engage in friendly conversations with complete strangers than we ever had before. Having you seemingly made us more approachable. I wonder what you thought that time we visited Washington D.C. and all those Japanese tourists wanted to take selfies with you? Meeting you has been a memorable experience for so many people.
Since you were a puppy you’ve come to work with us every day and supported us and our coworkers—especially on those stressful days. Your nudges asking us to go walk around outside didn’t always feel timely, but we acknowledge 10 years later that they worked out to be more for our benefit than yours.
That feeling of being home, and the contentment that it implies, happens when I’m with you and your dad. To be honest, your dad and I don’t feel settled without you with us. We can move, we can travel, but where we three are together, that is home.
Thank you for making us a family.