It was four years ago that Jessica and I said “I Do” to each other in what was, in my humble opinion, the best wedding I’ve ever been…in. To celebrate our fourth, I wanted to talk about the role our much adored four-legged furkids played in our wedding, and lives.
SashaBear’s Role in Our Relationship
As many of you know, my oldest puppy Sasha — pictured above — died unexpectedly a few months ago this year. She past away quickly and in my presence. If you knew her that was exactly where she always wanted to be. It was less that she was what some call classically “leash trained”, and more that she always wanted to be close to one of her human pets.
- It was Sasha that Jessica had to pick up from my mom’s house only a week or two after we met. Sasha appreciated the sassy yet sensible outfit that Jessica wore to pick her up and meet my mother for the first time.
- It was Sasha that wore a dog-tag with a diamond, engraved with “Marry Daddy!”, which Jessica proudly donned at the end of our first triathlon together at Watauga Lake.
- A year later, it was Sasha that served as Jessica’s flower girl, joining her brother Watauga as my ring-bearer at our wedding at the Mast Farm Inn, just a few miles down the road from Watauga Lake.
- It was Sasha that lay patiently at our feet as we planned the wedding and assembled the hand-crafted invitations on the IKEA “dining room” table in our new home.
- It was Sasha that patiently, and often with a stern growl, showed the persistent Paprika how to behave like a lady and stop eating everyone else’s food.
- And it was Sasha that, for nearly 10 years, would pant heavily during thunderstorms, chew and claw her way through our bedroom door in said thunderstorms, and tremble as she cuddled with us tightly and closely.
Ultimately, it was Sasha that taught me about companionship, and the amazing rewards that awaited me once I would open up my heart and entrust it with Jessica.
During our wedding, Jessica and I each read a poem. Here is what I read.
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Somethimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
Mali. Taylor. “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog.” What Learning Leaves. Newtown, CT: Hanover Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN: 1-‐887012-‐17-‐6)