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Chapter 12

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GABE!!! It seems like just yesterday that my Mom and I made the nearly 7 hour drive to Creswell, NC on the Albemarle Sound to pick you out. In a town of only 276 people, we found the perfect puppy. Sure you have caused many trials and tribulations over the past year, but your wagging tail, hugs and kisses make them all worth it. They mean more to me than you will ever know.

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If I were to write a birthday card to my puppy…err.. dog Gabe, I would express the same sentiments. This past year has certainly been full of adventures. I call Gabe my Anne of Green Gables dog. If you have read the book, then you know what I’m talking about. If not, Gabe is not exactly the type of dog we were expecting, but he is exactly the kind of dog we needed. 

Like Anne, Gabe is full of life, curious, and has a mind of his own. Sometimes, that energy and curiosity get him into trouble, like the time he tried to make friends with a skunk or poked his nose in a yellow jacket’s nest. He is headstrong and doesn’t always want to do what you ask him to and he will voice his displeasure.

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By the same token, Gabe uses those same qualities into loving his people, which are Mom and me. I recently returned from Cycle to the Sea, which is a three-day handcycle trip where I peddle with my arms from Charlotte, NC to Myrtle Beach SC (180 miles). I had never been away from Gabe for that long before so I was curious to see how he would react when we got back home. Well, Gabe reacted in typical Gabe and Chesapeake Bay Retriever fashion. He leapt in the car with a single bound, gave my face a bath with this his tongue, and then grabbed the Kleenex box out of the car and ripped it to pieces. The ground was covered with white confetti to celebrate my return. Gabe also made it difficult for me to use my walker to come in the house as he kept putting his paws on my shoulders to give me hugs while washing my left ear. Life with Gabe never has a dull moment.

That’s why Gabe is my Spirit Animal. As Anne would say, we are “Bosom Friends”. I too want to live life to its fullest while chasing after my dreams with the same energy and enthusiasm Gabe has when running down a wild rabbit. I have also been told I can be a bit stubborn, especially when someone says I can’t do something. I am bound and determined to prove them wrong.

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The question is, what do you get your bosom friend and the best dog ever to help celebrate his first birthday? I’m going to start by giving Gabe a Cheese & Bacon Birthday Bone from Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats. Gabe loves the smaller treats, but the birthday bone gives him something much bigger to sink his teeth into. If your best friend is approaching a birthday soon, whether it be their first or 15th, I recommend the birthday bone which is available in two flavors.

As good as the birthday bones are, however, the gift pales in comparison to the gifts Gabe gives me every day. They include unconditional love, companionship, and loyalty that you cannot put a pricetag I hope I get to enjoy Gabe’s gifts for many years to come.