There once was a time, where you were hesitant about me.
You were just a nervous, unsure shelter dog. But after being with so many different people, each time with a different name of your own, I understood your hesitance. Still, I wanted to ease your fears. I wanted to show you that someone could love you forever. I wanted to prove to you that I would never leave.
The first few months were tough. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I loved you fully. However, it was hard to tell if you felt the same about me. I kept thinking I was letting you down. I never had the assurance from you that you were completely happy.
Then one day it happened. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was laying in the bed watching TV. You were curled up in a ball on the opposite side, like you usually were. I started petting your soft fur. I wanted you to know I was there, I loved you, and I was always going to be there.
Next thing I know, you were army crawling towards me, looking at me with those sweet eyes. I didn’t know what to expect. Then, just like you had been doing it your whole life, you rolled your body over and held it next to me. You nuzzled your head in the space between my armpit and upper arm, and you fell asleep, just like that. It made my heart so happy. In that moment, I knew you were content. I knew you had made your home with me.
It is tiny, subtle actions like that one that continue to make my heart the happiest.
The way you run down the stairs and wait at the door for me to walk in, after being away. Always with a smile on your face, and excitement in your tail. It is the fact that you are that way every single day, like you know that I will always come home to you. And I have, and I always will.
The way that you reach out your paw to touch me when I am not paying attention to you. Before, you would never dare to do that. You wanted to be alone, untouched and unbothered. Now, you want to be the center of my attention, the center of my World. And don’t worry, my sweet boy, because you are.
Then there is the way you cozy up on my lap whenever I am sitting down. You just plop your whole 54 pounds down on me, look at me with happiness in your eyes, and wait for me to hug you and love you. My legs may start to fall asleep, but I never push you off. Because, there was a time when that would never have happened.
Thank you, Duke, for trusting me. Thanks for allowing me to love you, and thanks for loving me in return. But mostly, thanks for making your home with me. I promise to make you the happiest and most loved dog in the World.
Don’t worry, my sweet boy. You are home.