Growing up, we always had cats. My friends had dogs - and there always seem to be something special about the dogs. They greet you at the door, their tail wags, they love to play, they love to rest, they just seemed perfect.
When Mark and I got married, I begged him for a dog. Finally, it seemed like a lost cause, so I quit asking. Then on Mother's day in 1999, Mark suggested we get a dog. I wanted a Lab. We stopped by the pound, but didn't see anything that fit our needs, so we called an ad in the paper. We went to this house at saw 8 black lab puppies playing.
Mark and I had no idea how to pick out a puppy, so we asked the owners what they thought. She mentioned that "Kudjo" seemed full of personality, so we watched him for awhile. He was the one who ate so much food, he threw up. His paws were enormous, his ears were floppy, and we were in love! We knew this puppy was going to be big, and we loved his little cuddliness.
We carried him out on our forearm with his chin resting in our hand and his legs flopping over the sides. I have pictures, but they aren't digital yet. Now... to name this little dude. We thought about Jake, but my mom didn't like that name, so he ended up "Troy" after the city I grew up in.
Troy grew and grew and eventually stopped around 115 lbs (give or take 10 lbs...) He was our first child and we loved to dress him up, pull his ears, and just have a great time with him! He was hyper, loved to swim, and constantly jumping on people. At the dog park, he was the humper.
As time went on, Troy grew up and we had real kids. Troy was amazing with the little guys. He tolerated their "abuse" - of course it was nothing more obnoxious than his "children are coming" training!
It's been a slow decline for the old guy, but he eventually had more and more trouble getting out of the way. He no longer jumped in the pool to swim. He stopped getting up when we came home. It's heartbreaking to see the decline. You can see in his eyes that he is bummed too. After much thought and discussion, we are entering Troy's last days. We are going to miss the old bugger - but cling to our memories.
Soon I will share some of my favorite stories and dig up more pictures.