Not sure I have anything left to say about my boy.
After the initial vet assessed him, adjusted his likely age from 6 months to 12-14 weeks, he said a dog this size you can expect about 10 years.
As my husband often reminds me, I used to pet Bugsy and say, "you give me 10 years, OK?"
So here we are at 12.
And even if he were a smaller dog, with the issues he's had, one would not expect him to be here or at the least to be this vibrant.
He has severe food allergies and has had many negative reactions to simple medications.
He has had knee repair, elbow repair, and shoulder repair but generally moves as though no joints hurt.
He's had 7 biopsies in addition to 2 or 3 lump removals and yes I lost count.
I have been told he is likely soon to be gone 3 times, only for secondary labs to clear things.
He was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer a year ago and given 3-5 months to live.
And here we are singing happy 12th birthday.
He still trots instead of walks, chases squirrels, crows and other moving/living things, eats paper napkins and mail, steals shoes, greets you with toys, pushes out of doorways before you, searches the yard for tasty animal excrement, dances for meals and flings treat-holding toys at you to fill. He opens pantry doors to inspect the stock, checks bathroom waste bins for tissues, and is aware of your every next move.
We have bad days and weeks and we've been teetering on the edge of the "quality of life" question but he literally keeps soldiering on.
I am unable to not be in awe of this spirit and creature.
Last Sunday we hosted a gathering at a local brewery for him and 37 people and 8 dogs attended. In addition people from 19 states, Canada and England toasted and celebrated with us.
Bugsy has this aura, this spirit that draws folks to him, draws beings to him.
I am the lucky one to have lived with him all this time.
So as I reflect tonight on his 12th birthday, I cherish each day. Pray when things go south, it's fast so he doesn't suffer.
In the meantime, I'll wake at 5 to walk him, spend half my paycheck on food for him, cook his meals and lie on the floor to play with him or to pet him.
As a friend said earlier, being a dog owner is very task-laden, but the rewards far outweigh the efforts.
The love one feels for a companion animal is different than for a child or a partner, in some ways though it may be more powerful.
So happy birthday Bugsy, I'll be sure to provide you with some fries!