My Dearest Kitsune,
“They” say that time flies when you’re having fun. We must be having a lot of fun together, my Yuletide pup. Somehow 13 years seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.
I still remember all our firsts together so clearly. The first time I saw pictures of you, then showing those pictures to your ‘Dad’, to ask him if he agreed that you were, indeed, ‘the one’. I remember seeing your adorable little face for the first time in person. How good you were on the long journey to your new home! I wanted nothing more than to snuggle you when we got home. You wanted nothing more than to snuggle your new Dad! The picture of you curled up on his lap on the kitchen floor, just minutes after we had arrived home with you that first day, will always make me smile. Despite me being your main caretaker all these years, there’s never been any doubt about who your special person really is – and, perhaps surprisingly for some of our readers, it isn’t me.
You were such a challenge in those early days! Especially those first couple of weeks. I remember one night in particular, after many sleepless nights, crying and really wondering if I had made a mistake. But things got better, didn’t they buddy?
You’ve always been SO smart, and so so sweet. When I take you outside you want to say ‘hello’ to everyone, people and animals alike. I hated it, at first, how much attention we would receive during our walks together. I had to talk to people – ew! But slowly, over time, many of those people became friends. The two of us went from being strangers in a new place, to a part of a community. It does always make me laugh, though, when people remember your name and not mine! I am often just “Kitsune‘s mom” – a title I will always hold with honor!
We’ve had to find our place in new communities together twice now within the last 3 years. During both of our moves my biggest concern was you – how you’d cope with having your life completely uprooted. Moving is stressful for humans, and we have the added benefit of actually knowing what’s going on! Even without that benefit, you, of course, impressed me so much with your ability to adapt. Seeing how well you’ve taken to ‘country life’ after living 10 years in the same city apartment makes me so happy. You helped me cope with the stress of city life for so long, I’m so glad that we were able to show you the joys of things like having your own yard to run around in.
I could write a million blog posts recounting all the amazing times we’ve had together! 13 years of memories, almost none of them bad. That’s more than I can say for most of the human relationships I’ve been in. But dogs are special like that.
As of late I’ve been watching you gracefully age and, my dear friend, it gives me such mixed emotions. Your ever increasingly whiter muzzle is, at the same time, one of the most adorable things ever, and a constant reminder of our shared mortality. I’ve heard it said that the only fault of dogs is that they don’t live nearly long enough, and I already feel, with my whole heart, how true that sentiment is.
Do you know the oldest dog ever lived to be 30!? I really think that’s a record you should try to surpass. When I see everyday how happy and energetic you are, now at 13, it gives me hope that you might just actually try!
Now, more than ever, it makes me so happy to watch you running around in the yard, playing with your toys, and pestering your ‘little brofur” Fenrir. It will never cease to make me laugh to watch you try to wrestle Fen, who is less than half your age. You’ve turned into quite the woodlands explorer since we moved out of the city, and the time we spend wandering the woods together brings me so much peace. And you know my mornings wouldn’t be quite the same without being able to watch you do your “Kit rolls” all over the bedroom floor first thing every day.
Dogs have such a special way of making a house feel like a home. They are our fuzzy therapists, warm snuggle buddies on cold nights, our best friends. Dogs do not judge, do not lie, and unabashedly live their lives full of love. Humans really could learn so much from dogs. I thank you, sweet Kitsune, for being my most adorable teacher for the past 13 years. Dogs leave paw prints on our hears, and yours will surely forever remain on mine. Every year for your birthday I presumptuously make a wish for you. That we’re able to celebrate many, many more happy birthdays together! This year is no different. Happy 13th birthday, Kitsune, and here’s to many, many, many more!