Somehow, it’s been five years.

Five years since Miss Carol and me drove down to North Carolina, lured by an ad in the Sunday paper, to adopt a puppy after Boca and Largo had died.

Five years since we pulled a single little squirming ball of fur out of the other squirming little balls of fur and decided Cutter, once he was weaned, was coming home with us.

Five years since Miss Carol decided, on the drive home, that we needed not one, but TWO puppies.

Five years since we went back to pick up Cutter and found Tug sitting alone and amazed in the corner of the big box, wondering where everybody’d gone.

Five years since we first walked you on the beach, both of you shivering and yelping, huddling between Miss Carol’s legs.

Five years since you ate the coral colored room.

Five years of sleeping with hot dog-breath snoring in our faces and paddling paws chasing dream rabbits.

Five years walking the herky-jerk yank-along twice a day.

But most importantly?

Five years of unrelenting, unconditional, unswerving loyalty and love.

You’re our buds.

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