Belle’s 15th Birthday

Today this beautiful dog, Belle, turned 15…it’s crazy for me to even begin to comprehend this.

Today this beautiful dog turned 15…it’s crazy for me to even begin to comprehend this.

I met her when she was only a couple of days old and visited the litter three times before she came home with me, the only dog of mine I’ve ever met that early or visited that often. She has been my faithful companion, my friend, and my confidante for more than a third of my life, and I’m no longer a young man. She has been with me through nearly all of my major life events as an adult, my highest highs and my lowest lows. Through it all she’s never judged, she’s never been mad, she’s never been selfish, she’s never wanted anything other than to be loved and chase birds. Five years ago I had to share her as she found even more love to give when we brought Grace home from the hospital. Over the last couple of years they have become inseparable and as I type this they are snuggled in Grace’s bed together fast asleep after a day of celebrating this wonderful little dog. I have a tendency during milestones like this to live in the past and dread the future, struggling to embrace the Dalai Lama quote, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” Belle never misses the joy in the moment and that was driven home today when I snapped the picture of her in the cattails on her third run of the day. She doesn’t know old dogs aren’t supposed to be able to do this and she believes she can so she does. She was absolutely doing, living and loving today.