Last night, I had to say goodbye to my best friend for the last fourteen years of my life. Here are just a few things I loved about her.
  1. It took me three years to convince my parents to let me have a puppy.
    I begged ("Please, please, please, please, please let me have a puppy."), bargained ("I'll clean my room, clear the table, and be nice to Daniel for an entire year if you let me have a puppy."), wished on stars and birthday candles, prayed ("Dear God, please let me have a puppy."), and even resorted to good old Santa Claus.
  2. I adopted her from my local animal shelter when she was three months old.
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    She was the poof of golden fur that my heart had apparently been looking for.
  3. Despite my best efforts, she never did learn how to fetch.
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    She did, however, quickly master the art of rolling over and getting her belly rubbed.
  4. Every time she came inside, she walked around to find her people.
    She knew there were four of us and she wouldn't settle until she had laid her eyes on all of us.
  5. She was a Milk-bone junkie.
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    I had to move the box because she would lift the lid and help herself to as many as she wanted.
  6. She tried to run away from home once.
    At the time, we were living in a rental house that didn't have a fenced in yard so she was having to live in a kennel. Late one night, there was a knock on our front door. When we opened it, she came prancing inside like she owned the place. It seems she had gotten out of her kennel and made it as far as the old cemetery before our neighbor's son spotted her. (Great guy that he was, he left his motorcycle on the side of the road and carried her back home to us.)
  7. She *loved* being outside.
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    Any time I would bring her inside, she would inevitably wind up at the back door, scratching out her desire to return outside.
  8. She was spoiled.
    My dad would sneak her extra Milk-bones, my mom always sent the bone from the hams we had at Thanksgiving and Christmas to her, and my grandmother was forever sending treats home with me with the explicit directions to give them to Duchess. Like I said, spoiled.
  9. She was protective.
    My brother hit me once and she growled at him. Not enough to be ferocious, but enough to let him know that wasn't cool around her.
  10. She was better than I deserved and yet she loved me anyway.
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    I wish everyone could be lucky enough to love and be loved by a dog like her.