It was the week after Christmas in 2002 – we were living in our first little house and settling into a sweet little life in Nashville, TN with our dog Sadie. Sadie had found us in May. She was dumped in our neighborhood and we found her sitting on the side of the road wagging her tail and “smiling” at us. She was the perfect, high-strung addition to our life.
But we worked a lot and felt sad that she spent her days alone. We began talking about another dog. Just talking. No plans.
Until I took a trip to grab some treats for Sadie at the Petco down the street. They were having ASPCA pet adoptions.
Henry was there.
I called Gerron and told him to bring Sadie because there was a puppy she needed to meet. And magic happened.
Sadie walked up to Henry’s cage and that little furball didn’t bark or scramble around in the cage or act crazy. He simply put his paw up against the cage as if to say, “I’ll be your friend.”
We haven’t looked back since.
Henry was a returned Christmas gift from a family who had given him to their kids for Christmas. But the kids weren’t ready, I guess. And the parents couldn’t deal with the whining (that puppies do). So, they took him to the shelter because he was too “high maintenance”.
Those who have met Henry know he is the exact opposite of high maintenance. He has spent the majority of his life lying on the couch – and can’t wait to come back in from just a quick trip to the back yard. He is a big ol’ snugglebug and would happily jump into bed with us so we could spoon him.
As a puppy, he would sleep on my chest and if he hadn’t been 75 pounds for most of his life, he’d probably still sleep there. And his right ear would stand straight up while the left one flopped down. Cutest thing ever.
He has spent countless hours in the backseat of the car as we moved him from Nashville to New York to North Carolina to Nashville to Texas. He has escaped from the house with his partner in crime (Sadie) too many times, only to stop in his tracks because he. was. done. He has loved our babies and would let them sit on him, pull his tail and be louder around him than he would like. No matter what, he would take it without complaint. Moving, babies, schedules changing, lives changing . . . he has taken it all in stride.
We found out this week that our sweet big boy has lymphoma – a fast spreading cancer of the lymph nodes. We are treating him with prednisone, but we know his time with us is very limited so we’re doing whatever we can to spoil him. Our 75 pound hunk of love has lost 20 pounds and just looks tired. But sweet and snuggly as ever.
I wish every person in the world could have a dog like our Henry. I feel so lucky that he’s been ours all these years.