1. They watch you grow up. And love you through all of the the spoiled brat years, the awkward middle school phase when your legs are too long but your waist is too skinny for any size pants to fit right, the stressed out high school years when you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to do with your life. And then he watches you leave. He watches your mom cry. And then he greets you at the door every single time you come home like not a single thing has changed.
2. They’re always excited to see you. Whether you’re coming back after being gone for a few months, were only out for a few hours, or you simply appeared from the next room. You’re guaranteed to be greeted with a wagging tail and a toy. Or a sock, or a shoe, or a slipper.
3. They’re always down to cuddle. Rainy day? Bad week? If you’re sweaty and gross because you haven’t showered yet after practice, he might like that even better because he likes the taste of the salt on your skin. Be prepared for kisses.
4. They’re always down for a late night study session. Maybe once you got to college, you were lucky enough to find that crazy person who heads to Wawa with you to stock up on food end energy drinks before you pull an all-nighter together, but at home, the house got eerily quiet at 9pm when your parents went to bed. But he never went to bed until every member of his house called it a night.
5. They will always keep the bed warm. Whether its a twin or a california king, you can bet your ass you’re sharing. And it’s most likely going to be a 75/25 split, in his favor.
6. They’re always down to do what you want. Walk to the bay to watch the sunset? He’s there. Grey’s Anatomy marathon all day? He’ll watch attentively. And let you cry into his fur when half of your favorite characters die.
7. They make you feel safer. Whether you’re walking at night or sleeping at home alone, having a four legged friend present is likely to put you at ease.
8. They are there for all the important moments. Birthdays, proms, graduation. The night you slept on the floor because your bed didn’t live there anymore. Moving day. Watching nervously while you packed for college.
9.They make you slow down and enjoy the ride. Fact of life: dogs age faster than humans. He’ll become much wiser than you in a portion of the time. What’s the hurry? Stop to smell the roses with him. You’ll thank him later for that extra breath of fresh air.
10. They’ll trust you to the very end. This is the very last picture ever taken of my best friend. He hates the car. It makes him nauseous. But he always gets in it semi-excited because he knows we want him to. Then he regrets everything the second we start to move. But he always did it. Because he is the most loyal friend I have ever had.
“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
– John Grogan, Marley and Me
I love you Ripley. Thank you for teaching me so much about life, love, happiness, and friendship. Thank you for inspiring my future endeavors. I can only hope to find another companion that’s half as great as you ever were. Rest easy, buddy.