While cuddling with him on his very first day home with us nine years ago I whispered in his ear a very big expectation. I told him he had a very important and big job ahead of him. He needed to be the dog my children would base all the dogs they would ever have in their life after him. He was to be the measuring stick. I told him he needed to get them to through elementary, middle and to high school. I knew that was a lot to put on the shoulders of such a little puppy but right from the start he took on that challenge. And just like that he went from being a dog to my son and their brother. I had always wanted three kids and he completed our trinity.
John did everything with us. We took him to any and all places we possibly could. It was adventure after adventure and he was always a willing participant especially if it had anything to do with water, snow or mud. In between adventures he was a reliable constant. He was as near perfection as any dog could be- in every way possible. I was in awe of him from the very beginning and knew he was special- we all did. I would like to think that every day he was with us he knew how special he was- how loved he was.
It wasn't just us- I will miss seeing the huge smiles when someone new would ask or hear his name. People were drawn to him and he LOVED people. He was everyone's best friend. He was polite, well mannered, happy and gentle. It was often joked about that John really was a little boy trapped in a dog's body. He wanted to go to school, to summer camp, skiing.... I have thousands of pictures of him- thousands- but right now the pictures don't do him or those soft bouncy golden curls justice. John crossed over peacefully this evening as he was held by me (mom), sister, brother and cousin. Right before he left us I whispered to him again and thanked him for doing a better job than I could have ever imagined. I told him he was the best boy, that I loved him and that I would miss him more than I could say. Someone said to me recently that we gave him an extraordinary life but the truth is that he gave us an extraordinary life.
To my "Hall of Famer", my "Once In A Lifetime Dog", our "Golden Boy"....