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A Very Fond Furwell

I must have been three, maybe four years old when I went with my grandparents to pick this adorable pup from its litter mates. Since that day, Cody was the dog I never had—the smiling face that met me on my grandparents' front porch, the ecstatic bark when we arrived for visits and the frantic one when we left. My grandparents' yearly vacation was a highlight of back-to-school time, when Cody would move in as a temporary resident and for one whole week, I could pretend that the dog greeting me when I got off the bus was my own.

That began fourteen years ago. And for fourteen years, Cody has been the puppy of my life. It's been hard watching him go downhill the past year or so, not just in the grey around his muzzle, but in more painful ways—painful to watch, and no doubt painful to live. And though his tail has wagged right to the end, we all knew it was time to say goodbye. Today's Thankful Thursday post is for Cody . . . and so are the tears blurring my screen.

This dog has never failed to drive us crazy only to win our hearts a minute later. Loyal to a fault, tirelessly gentle, soft-hearted, sensitive, and a kid's best friend, he brightened up those September nights that he slept beside my bed, or cowered behind my mirror during thunderstorms. His fear of chipmunks has been equal parts hilarious and adorable, and despite his penchant for junk food (and aversion to exercise) he has always been a truly beautiful dog.

I'm so thankful for the memories Cody has given us. I'm thankful for his long life in a happy home. I'm thankful for his expressive barking and happy tail-wagging and liquid brown eyes that will stay with me for years to come. I'm thankful for all the great years he gave us, all the great days, and all the great moments . . . right to the end. It's been a weird year. Lots of losses, lots of goodbyes. But I'll always remember my Cody-boy as the best almost-pet a girl could ask for.

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