It’s my best friend’s birthday today! He’s ten! I honestly can’t believe we’ve had him that long. I still remember the car ride home the night we got him and listening to him whimper in the kennel those first few nights.
When he was just a little puppy, my dad would bring him with when he picked me and my friends up from school and I don’t think I had ever fought so hard over the backseat in my life.
This dog lives for snow. Obviously, being born in December in Minnesota, he was familiar with the white stuff since the day he was born. He didn’t know what to think when his snow started to melt in the spring. He wouldn’t even pee on the grass until every little patch of snow was melted. And he still does that to this day. Whenever it snows, whether it’s the first or the twentieth snow of the season, he has to get outside and run, jump and roll in it as soon as he can!
Of course, he’s come to love the warmer weather, too. He discovered that we will actually take him out for runs when we can see the ground and that swimming is almost as fun as rolling in the snow! I think it’s safe to say, though, that his favorite part is having us outside with him.
He’s the most empathetic dog any of us have ever known. He reacts to our emotions before we can even identify them. Sometimes it’s annoying when he feels our anger bubbling and slinks away, but I love when he senses even the tiniest bit of happiness in me and immediately turns on the charm and grabs his rope! “The rope game will make you feel so much better, Carrie!” He literally never leaves my side when I’m sick (or really even when I’m feeling fine) unless I give him permission and is always willing to dish out some kisses to make things better.
I always feel bad saying this because I feel like I’m insulting the only other dog I came to deeply love in my life, but Cocoa was my favorite dog from the second we picked him. He was mine. He was my first puppy. I loved (and still love) Larry deeply, but he was my dad’s dog. It’s no secret that I’m number one in Cocoa’s heart.
I don’t even want to think about what life would be like without him. I’m just so incredibly grateful to have him now.
Happy Birthday, Buddy!
(P.S. Have I mentioned how photogenic and willing to pose he is?!)