Today you turn eleven years old. You chose me when I was almost thirteen and Mama and I were adopting a puppy for my birthday. You got so excited you peed all over the man's arm and we knew that meant something, remember? I almost lost you the day you chewed into an electrical cord, but Mama performed CPR and saved you. It was the greatest miracle I'd ever seen.
You have always been fiercely loyal to me. I remember one night I was mad at my boyfriend and before he came over I said, "Shorty, when ___ gets here, bite him for me, will you?" And doggone it, you did. You even protested my leaving for college by peeing all over the house while I was gone. All these years you have guarded the house dutifully from cable men and squirrels.
You helped me screen potential boyfriends. There were some guys you didn't like (who turned out to be jerks) but then there was Jordan. The first night you met him you curled up in his lap and went to sleep, as if to say this one's a keeper! Before long it seemed like you were his dog too, and a couple of years later we got married.
I know you deserved a much better mother than me, but I was still learning and you taught me a lot about parenting. Your little quirks and faults taught me patience and I think I'm a better mother to Suzi now because of you.
It's amazing how God put so much meaning into one little dachshund. I want to tell you this, but you wouldn't understand. All you know is whether or not someone loves you enough to spend fifteen minutes kicking a ball for you to fetch. I hope you got the message.
I love you.