My dearest little Betty:
Today we celebrate your birth, one year ago today. So far, you have received two e-cards, a bone, some doggie cookies, and a squeaky stuffed goose from your beloved puppy friends. In the past year, you have had two boyfriends (Romeo and Reagan), played with several other doggie friends (Murphy, Tootsie, and Cotton-Pants) and made countless human friends. You are already a very popular young lady. I cannot even begin to imagine what will happen when you start dating, young lady!
You also make us laugh. Pretty much daily. Remember when your favorite toy was a strand of anal beads that I had gotten as a gag gift? I do, and can I say, thank goodness we "lost" those in the move. I don't know how my mom would react if you pulled those out on one of her visits! I will never forget your protective barking at the cardboard cutout of Marilyn Monroe. Or the day we discovered that you make a squeaking noise when chasing the other dogs if they are too fast for you. I remember the time you and I went for a walk outside, and I looked down to see you with a half-used cigarette jauntily hanging out of your mouth...as if you were some rebellious teenager firmly dedicated to freaking out your mom. When we moved to the apartment in Memphis, your mischievousness grew daily as you devised better and efficient ways to chase all the ducks into the pond. We've started to call you the Duck Wrangler for all of your efforts. Your puppy antics are the source of many nights of entertainment and lunchroom discussion. You do so many cute things that are probably too mundane to write about here, but, please, don't ever stop.
As I think back to the past 10 months we have spent together (you were born today, but we didn't get you until February), I am overjoyed with happiness that the Knight picked you out just for me. To think, he almost picked one of your sisters...but then, you did something - looked at him a certain way, moseyed over in your (even then) friendly Betty Rascal way, packed your bags, and moved right in to his (and my) heart. I remember our first few months together... you were so tiny. Only about 1/2 pound doggie and 1 pound fluff. I could pick you up and carry you around in my robe pocket when I prepared for the day. You never seemed to mind, considering your inability to walk on the hardwood floors during those first few weeks. I would sit at school, worrying that you were okay at home. Wondering if you had figured out a way to nose open the kitchen cabinets and was, at that very moment, drinking a Windex cocktail. Never has my Draconian imagination been so vibrant as when you were a new pup, and I would daily worry about new ways that you were probably killing yourself while I was not there. I will say that I don't miss hovering over you, waiting for that ubiquitous puppy squat on my new rug, but even when you had an accident, your mess was so tiny, it was almost cute. (Thank goodness you are house-trained now!)
Since February, you have brought a little extra expen$e, a few tears, but most of all, happiness and laughter to our little family. With you in our lives, the Knight and I feel more like a family than ever before. I cannot count the times that the Knight and I will snuggle up on the couch, and you will promptly jump into our laps - alternating licking and kissing on each of us. As if you know that you belong with us, and you want to savor each moment as much as we do.
To many people, you may be just a dog. But to us, you are our Betty Rascal. We love you, little darling!