This is you after we brought you home that first day. We had just driven over four hundred miles, pausing at every rest stop along the way so you could climb from the car and worry over the sound of the tractor-trailers rolling down the turnpike.
You were one of many, and Bossy essentially had the pick of the litter. She wanted a female, so that eliminated a handful of pups. She didn’t want the bold puppy, or the disinterested puppy—so that left you and your sister. Bossy wasn’t alone in the decision—she brought her daughter and her mother along, who sat in the sweltering Ohio sun weighing various things such as What does it mean when a puppy trips over pachysandra?
Bossy and her daughter and mother couldn’t make a decision, and so they retired to a nearby motel, where they swam in the pool and made lists weighing the two dogs and their temperaments.
Finally Bossy’s mother had a genius idea. “Flip a coin,” she said.
And so Bossy and her daughter and her mother took turns flipping a coin, and here is the important life lesson they learned about a ritual that seems arbitrary: when you flip a coin you are secretly rooting for one result over the other, and then you have your decision.
Bossy and her daughter and mother realized they were all routing for you—which could have something to do with the sweet way you shadowed the threesome, just like it could have something to do with the fact that the breeder mentioned you would never be much of a drooler due to your elongated snout.
Bossy and her mother and daughter returned to the breeder’s house early the next morning to drive you away toward your new home. They put you in the crate pictured above which was woefully small, and you complained for exactly three minutes before issuing a dramatic sigh and collapsing in a heap.
Once home, you seemed slightly disappointed by Bossy’s property and its lack of a pond, just as you were suspicious of a household that didn’t contain at least six other Danes:
But soon you realized there was in fact another Dane within the family, she was just a little more smiley and had a habit of walking on two hind legs:
And although Bossy’s house didn’t amount to much in square footage, it did feature a back porch that allowed you to oversee the various family activities while keeping you a screen’s width away from the scary wildlife that freaked you out. Like ants.
You were doubling in size every few minutes, and the family realized they were in a foot race to introduce you to every situation you would eventually encounter while you were still easily manipulated with a leash and collar. So you learned how to ride in a car, and learned to walk down bustling sidewalks—and you became socialized, playing with neighboring dogs and cats:
And you learned that ponds were no competition for plastic baby pools, and the water you could bite as it dribbled from the end of the garden hose:
In fact you learned so many things those first weeks that you required naps that stretched across entire afternoons:
Bossy and her family began teaching you to sit and to stay and to lie down and to relieve yourself on command—and sometimes these lessons were so tedious you looked forward to those moments you could play nursery:
And in no time at all you understood what it meant to be a good citizen of the family:
You liked to be right in the middle of things, and fancied yourself very useful when it came to helping out with tasks, such as homework:
You also came to realize if the family was going to have to withstand enormous poos and the perpetual puddles emanating from the water bowl, you were going to have to step-up your potential to entertain the hell out of everyone:
Even if entertaining the family meant exhausting yourself right down to the scratchy pads of your enormous paws:
So on this, your birthday, Bossy and her family would like to sincerely thank you for picking them that sweltering day three years ago. Please accept the following coupon, good for a homemade biscuit and a chew toy. Because
if you eat one more computer cord Bossy is driving you back to Ohio we love you.