When I was 17, we picked you. You were the one that caught our eye. You stood out from the entire litter of perfectly adorable golden retrievers. Literally stood out. You were huge. Twice the size of the others. And on that late summer afternoon, you came bounding around that house toward us -- and right away we knew you were ours.
We took you home and loved you. And you grew and grew and when you were done growing, you weighed somewhere around 110 pounds. This means you had a lot of hair. Tons. And you shed a lot and you were never great on the leash. We couldn't even imagine letting you off of it. Because the few times you escaped the yard you just ran. And ran. And ran. Remember the time we had to chase you half a mile down the street? Even when you got tired and stopped, you still wouldn't come to us. So we flagged down a stranger to open her car door for you. You loved car rides. And you got in her car and she drove you home.
But we didn't take the escapism personally. It was just in your nature to want to try new things. Like the time you ate an entire raw chicken - Styrofoam and plastic wrap included. Or the time you were at dad's store and ate a moving box full of sugar. You also liked to eat eyeglasses. I think we had to buy at least two friends of the family new pairs when, even though we warned them, they left theirs on the coffee table, which was your domain.
Andy, I'm sorry I couldn't be there for your adolescent years when I was in college. But I know you kept mom and dad and Amy and Evan company. I'm sorry that you had to leave your Momma to go live just with your Daddy for the last five years of your life. But you made so many people happy at the flower shop. Did you know that some people would come in just to see you?
The last time you visited me was in May and,you stayed for 10 days. I know being downtown was a change for you, but you did so well. And Kolby had so much fun with you.
Oh, Andy, I'm going to miss you buddy. The last time I pet you was at Dad's on Rosh Hashana. He told me how sick you'd been and that he didn't think you had much longer. So I left the dinner table and pet your ears and whispered to you how much I loved you.
You don't know this, but I saw you again one more time. Dad called me this morning over skype and told me that today was going to be your last. I asked him if he could let me see you and so, he tilted he computer around and there you were. Laying on the floor in the sun. You had no idea that in an hour or so, you'd be leaving us.
After that, B and I cried over coffee. We talked about how innocent you are and how you were such a good companion to Dad and how you were probably afraid when they watched you take your last breath. Dad couldn't stand to be in there with you and so, I cried more because you probably felt alone and confused.
You will always feel more like a brother to me than a dog. You were one of the last things that we had chosen as a family when our family was still intact. You were a survivor. And I already miss you terribly.
Love your human sister,