My dad was out of town and somehow Shane and I coerced my mom to the shelter, "just to look" at the puppies.
Yeah, that worked out really well. They took us to the back room, where the "special" litter of puppies were kept. Evidently "special" meant "inbred" and "having been attacked by their mom." When we got you, we had to put drops in your eye from the damage your mom did. So you didn't exactly start out ahead. But man, were you cute.
The mirror astounded you (Who was that other puppy? It was so friendly!). We would confuse the heck out of you with a laser pointer. Instead of playing with your squeak toys, you would lay there and lick them. All. Night. Long. Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! You were a coward from the get-go, but at least you came by it honestly.
And you and I? We discovered life together.
We grew up together.
We celebrated every Christmas together for 15 years.
You and Kodi were the best of friends.
Even though you spent much of your time with your head in her mouth.
And when Kodi died, you were so confused. Where was your friend? You looked for her all over. It was heart-breaking. So the "dogs are only allowed in the living room" rule somehow went out the window with you. And there you were. On our couches.
In our beds.
When you slept with me, you would press your whole body up against mine with such force that I could hardly breathe. So I would move over. And so would you. And then I would move over again. And there you'd be again. By the morning, you had the whole bed and I was on the very edge. You were an evil genius.
Actually, nobody who has ever met you would describe you as a genius. Sweet? Yes. Loyal? Definitely. Loving? Without a doubt. But smart you were not.
The best evidence of that is clearly when you got yourself hit by a car my freshman year of high school. It was scary, but you pulled through. And you lived to run in front of other cars. (It was shocking that you didn't get hit again. Oh, Tia, you were so dumb.)
One thing that always got you excited were our trips to Sonic together. When I was in high school, I would take you to Sonic all the time after school to get you a corn dog. It was our special thing we did together. You got to where you recognized it when we pulled in (or even if you saw the Sonic logo on a bag or we said "Sonic" out loud), and you would go absolutely crazy over it. You would whine, and shake, and slobber as you waited for the carhop to bring you your corn dog. It's probably the most excited you ever got over anything. Go figure, it was about food.
A few years ago, after we got you accustomed to being the only dog, we introduced Maggie into your life, and though you had a long, terrible time with her beating the ever living crap out of you, eventually, you became pretty good friends.
She kept you moving, which is exactly what you needed. Because you loved to sleep all day. You were lazy. And you loved your routines. (We're pretty sure you were autistic, actually.)
At the end of your life, you moved a little slower, you got (selectively) deafer, and perhaps even a little stupider. The damage the car did so many years ago took its toll, and you were having a hard time getting up and down.
But even still, you would come running every so often if you thought my mom was home (she was always your favorite). Maggie became your ears and where she ran, you would hobble/run with her.
You lived your life a good dog.
I don't know if there's a doggie heaven, but if there is, you certainly made it there today. Not because you were a brave dog (you were a huge wuss). Not because you were a strong dog or a smart dog. It's because you did your job for every second of your 105 dog years here. You loved your family.
I don't think it ever really occurred to you to do anything else.