On July 27, 2010, Henry Elliot Raleigh Alexander Anderson made his way into my life and picked me to be his mommy. This past Saturday, we celebrated three years together with a little outing to PetSmart. His sissy came, too, and he graciously allowed her to share in his day (as he was raised very well by his momma and is a polite and loving little bear). Check his face below, I just die.
Henry and Layla each picked out a toy. Hedgehogs for everyone! A tug-o-war style guy for Hens-El and a little pink one for La. Both mega-squeakers and good to toss.
Above: Henry: "Mom, this is the best day ever!" Layla: "I judge you."
Sleepiest bear in the world.
I don't know if you guys have caught on yet, but I love this tiny man with my entire heart. I still remember sitting with him on my dining room floor on that first day, how scared and small he was, and his foster mom asked if I was interested in keeping him or not. I immediately felt horrified that she even asked - this was my dog, my Henry. I just knew it. There's a bumper sticked commonly spotted on many a suburban vehicle, that reads: Who Rescued Who? (do note: I totally want one of these) and it couldn't be more true about my Hen. He saved me, he taught me what unconditional love looks like, what it feels like, and what matters.
Hen has taught me, you know, an exceptional amount of things. But this year, with the addition of Layla June, he's taken it up to a whole new level. Here's a few of the lessons baby bear has given me recently:
1. The people who love us are always there waiting for us. We can't be separated (truly separated) from those that share our hearts. Therefore distance ain't nothin but a different time zone.
2. We don't know what's coming next, but we can choose how we handle it. When I came home with La, Hen basically tried to eat her. He pouted and was hurt, but then.. he changed his mind. Decided to be friends. This past week, they attempted playing together (I cried). If my baby dog can choose the higher road, then I can, too.
3. Show your affection. Hen has taken to resting his head on my hand as he falls asleep. This gentle action makes my heart fill up and burst with love.
4. Treats are important. Have them often.
5. Fresh air is nearly always the answer. Leaping and playing in grass will also aid you in any decision making.
6. You have to play. You just have to. Daily. Often. Silliness and play time are clutch.
7. Get vocal about the people you love. This boy basically screams at the top of his lungs every time I come through the door. I could be gone 5 minutes or 5 days, and it's a freaking party up in here.
8. Sharing is cool, but sometimes you need to whine or gripe about someone trying to take your toys. Let it out, and then try to practice sharing again.
9. Naps. Naps, my friend. Very important. Fluff your blankets and pillows around a bit, too.
10. Words aren't as needed as we think. Henry tells me exactly what's up with his eyes, body, and actions.
11. Rejoice. Dance. Leap. Wave your front paws (arms) around wildly. Smile as wide and as big as you can. Show joy with your entire body. Wiggle. Shake your tail. Kiss the people you love. Roll around on your back. Stretch. Wear your love all over your body.
This is the story of how we came to be & this is what I wrote on our one-year of togetherness.
(Important to note that those years were really rough, and I was not in a great place. You'll catch on as you read some of the snark and hurt laced between those words.)
He is still, by far, the number one best decision I've ever made. He is my best friend, and I'm so proud to see him interacting with other doggies and people, and to see how much he's grown. The best lesson of all that he taught me, is that we all truly just need love and to know we are wanted, and trust that we belong. Those things heal us and shape us into our bravest, best selves.
Oh little bear, I love you so.