First of all, Happy Birthday my boy. You’re six-years old now. Where has the time gone? Yet, I think back to what all we’ve been through together and it seems like a lifetime. As I’ve always told you, “You have to live forever, Ace”. I stand by that statement and everyday hereafter.
We became partners five years ago this October. You were already over a year old, and was told by your breeder, “a real sweetheart”. What an understatement that came to be. Your sweet soul immediately connected to me in a way no other ever has. The instant unconditional love you shared was profound. Because of your special intuition of other people and surroundings, I knew instantly what you and I were meant to do. We became quite a team at “Ace of Hearts Dog Therapy”. You were the highlight of so many lives. I watched in amazement the way you carried yourself and applied your soothing love to people who needed you so badly. You made their lives better. In turn, it made their loved ones and doctor’s lives better. Each week, what you did will forever be ingrained in my heart and head with much love and respect.
You would actually fall asleep with the patients knowing they needed to rest comfortably with your love protecting them keeping them safe and loved. Every Friday, for what was supposed to be an hour visit at the nursing home, would turn into at least two hours. Walking the halls, stopping if we saw someone who wanted to see you and feel your soft, shiny coat, you would wait to be invited into each room. Once there, you would let the person who needed you the warmest, most amazing unconditional love I’ve ever seen. Nothing bothered you. As soon as I put your therapy vest on, you were like a different dog. You took your job very seriously.
Then, it was an early retirement for you and I. My body was giving out on me. To be able to handle you properly, I needed to be able to lift you and/or hold you for periods of time. No longer able to do this, plus all of the added doctor appointments were too much for me to handle. You became MY therapy dog. It became quickly apparent that you knew something was wrong with me medically. Random stops by me to lick certain areas on my legs or arms would prove to be remarkably accurate as they would be aching so bad. A licker, you aren’t. Only if there is a part of me hurting, do you lick. Well, there are those first morning kisses you give so gently when you give me your morning hug.
My nap partner ensuring I’m safe and can feel his love. You don’t care how long we nap, skipping your regular dinner time isn’t on your schedule when it comes to you caring for me. Somehow you just know I need you and you’re there.
When this little guy was born, we stayed for a couple months several hours from home to help raise him while his parents went back to work. The patience and love you showed this baby was amazing. Every single time he had to be fed, you had to be next to him while he was eating – even his mom breastfeeding – you were right next to her watching over the baby. Tummy time or diaper change? There you were laying right next to him on floor or on his floor while he was on the changing table. Thank you for teaching a little boy the power of your unconditional love.
Recently, Grammy needed your help. When dad and I brought her down to watch over her care, once again you were there. You helped me through the stress and pain I was experiencing at this time. And once she broke her hip, we found ourselves back at the nursing home we had returned from a year ago. This time you were Grammy’s therapy dog.
Instinctively, you did your thing. Grammy was so happy to see you and to have you there with her, She proudly showed you off to all the nurses. Another successful dog therapy session. Only this time, it’s family.
Back 4 years ago, your little half brother came to live forever with us. There was a little apprehension not knowing how you would take to him. He was just 10 weeks old and so adorable, but a bit of a brat. He was the only one your momma delivered, and her last pup. I knew we needed him in our lives before he was born. The idea of her last puppy being your sibling meant a lot to me. You needed a friend to play with and share your home with. I wasn’t sure if you were able to share me.
Much to my delight, it was as if you instinctively knew he was your little brother and welcomed him into our lives with exuberance and more patience than you probably should have. Four years and 2 months later, you two are thick as thieves and he helped make you an even better companion, if that is even possible.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve witnessed your magical soul do wondrous things for people. This? This you do for YOU. There isn’t much else you’d rather be doing than running and leaping through the air from 3 steps up and 3 steps down around the hot tub and pool chasing golfers. You fly with ease! It’s a beautiful sight to see, You’re protecting your property, your owners, your brother and yourself. You do a wonderful job with such beauty and ease.
Sometimes I watch you and wonder how I got so lucky to be your mom. Your royal beauty, sweet soul, and loving heart are too much for me you’re a dog sometimes.
Whether you’re waiting in the bathroom for me to complete my shower, or …
… watching the sun set or rise, your beautiful soul shines through. Your intuitiveness and loyalty don’t go unnoticed. By far, my Ace of hearts, you are one of the best.
Happy birthday sweet boy! May the next 6 years be as wonderful as the first. You understand me better than anyone. Thank you for that. Thank you for your unconditional love and loyalty.
I do not know how I got so lucky to have you. And, I sure don’t know how my life would be without you in it.
Party on, Ace. Keep doing what you do. Happy birthday!