StanLee, our senior adopted beagle-mix, turned 13 this week! We celebrated with long walks, an extra serving of food at breakfast, and a relaxed canoe ride along the canals.
StanLee has been by my side for more than a decade. We’ve chased rabbits on train tracks, tumbled through the snow, romped around beaches, and explored forests and deserts and mountains and prairies. We’ve driven across the country together. We canvassed door to door through the Carolinas. We’ve fallen into ponds, floated in pools, and gotten trapped in thickets. He kept me going during an epic breakup.
He jogged therapeutic miles with me every day and night, and now rides along in the canoe or in the cargo bike with West & Sophee. He fell in love with Adam in an instant, and I’m sure he understood when I did that Adam would become part of our family.
StanLee watches over our tiny cottage, and has even thwarted robbery attempts. He stood next to us on our stoop when Adam and I said our vows. He sat with my Dad and Grandpa Lou in Florida when they were recovering from treatments and surgeries, even though the medical equipment, walkers, and wheelchairs scared him. He protects West if my back is turned.
When I was pregnant, so many people warned me that once my son was born I wouldn’t feel the same level of love for the pups as I did before. But I’ve found that I’ve grown even closer to them both. Yes, sometimes our walks are delayed or cut short, and one-on-one time with either is something that has to be carved into the schedule with effort. But it’s been fascinating to watch them adapt to life with West and interact with him in their own ways. Sophee is still a total menace, but she has grown up, while StanLee has gone grey without losing his playfulness. I love them more than ever.
It might sound childish, but Stanlee is my best friend on the planet. #AdoptDontShop, folks. It can change your life in the most wonderful way.