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Pets Large & Small

Hi. Itís me. Your pupÖ

Jennifer Vanderau
Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter

(6/2015) ÖI finally got the hang of this whole computer thing, with the keyboard and everything. You humans sure do spend a lot of time on this. Do you know there are balls that could be chased or bushes to smell or tulips to dig up?

Um. Maybe itís better if you forget that last one.

Anyway, I wanted to get my thoughts down here because sometimes I worry that you donít always understand how much you mean to me. You know those times where weíre not really doing much of anything and you catch me watching you? I know you want to know so bad what Iím thinking but the whole talking thing, other than a bark or too, is kind of beyond me.

I figured if I could just get the hang of the keyboard, Iíd be good.

So here we are.

Funny thing about words, huh? Just when you get the chance to use them, you kind of canít come up with any adequate enough to describe how you really feel.

I wonder if the poets had this kind of trouble.

I mean, I love you. A whole lot. Itís just that one word doesnít seem to really do my feelings justice sometimes. You know those moments when we just look at each other? I donít really think there are words for that.

But Iíve managed to figure out how to work this computer thing, so Iím going to try.

Youíre easily the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Remember the day you found me in the shelter? That was the start of the whole looking in your eyes and the connection. Gosh, I knew, even back then, that if I could just be yours Iíd spend the rest of my life so grateful and happy and doing everything I could to give you the same.

Wow, that was a long time ago, wasnít it?

You took me out of that cage and into your home and my chest actually hurt with how happy I was and still am. It was like I couldnít believe the car ride to your house was even real.

Iíd been in the shelter for weeks and no one else wanted me. It hurt when people walked by without even noticing me.

It was such a powerful feeling when you stopped at my cage and took me into the bonding room.

The years sure have gone by. The kids are growing up so fast and theyíre getting involved in so many different things. You must be so proud of them. I know I am. They really are the perfect combination and the best of both of you, Mom and Dad.

I hope that didnít sound too cheesy. See, this word thing is getting me.

I could just fill up this whole sheet with the word love and I still donít think it would really give you a picture of what you mean to me. Maybe Iíll try with memories.

I remember the reading nights, back when the kids were little. You had that whole stack of books and each one of them got to pick a story before bed and Iíd lie on the floor at Momís feet, listening to her voice and I knew, even though I was young back then, that I would die for every one of you.

I remember picnics and the barbeques and how I always got a taste of everything on the plate, even though the kids werenít supposed to feed me from the table. Not sure if anyone ever knew how many bites Dad would sneak me, but maybe thatís something just between us.

I remember, just recently, mom and I watching TV one night Ė you really do like that Mark Harmon fellow, donít you Mom? My head was in her lap on the couch Ė my favorite place to be and an advertisement came on for people who rescue dogs from the life of dog fighting. I couldnít take my eyes off the television. Those poor animals.

I was a stray before coming into the shelter, but even that experience was nothing Ė nothing Ė compared to what dog fighting dogs go through. My heart hurt so bad for those animals and the life theyíd known.

When the ad came to an end Mom leaned down and put her cheek against mine and I knew sheíd been crying. She whispered, "I love you so much."

It was then that I knew I had to figure out a way to do this. This computer thing. To tell you the feeling is mutual and always will be.

Our lives will change Ė thatís what lives do Ė but the one constant I can guarantee is my devotion to you and this family.

I know we get busy with baseball games and band practice and trips to the dog park and family commitments, but I just wanted you to know that through it all, Iíll never leave your side.

A companion, a shoulder to lean on, a best friend.

Yeah. That sounds about right. Maybe I did manage to find the words after all.

Well, itís getting late and Iíve got a house and five people to protect and watch over. Iíll just leave this here for youÖ

*****

Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Chambersburg, Pa., and can be reached at cvasoc@innernet.net. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at (717) 263-5791 or visit the website www.cvas-pets.org.

Read other articles by Jennifer Vanderau