The heartbreak before Christmas

We got back from our New Mexico Christmas vacation last night to a house that had less to come back to. Our beloved Black Lab, Cowboy, died on December 23rd. At eleven, he was old for a dog of his size (over 100 lbs).

He had an intimidating physical presence but that was quickly overlooked because of his gentle demeanor, even if somewhat excitable when meeting someone new. He was a dog who loved people, especially kids. This is how we will always remember him:

Bailey hugging Cowboy
Bailey hugging Cowboy

I remember having friends over to play games at our table and he would be always find a way to get under it. It was his favorite place to be, surrounded by people.

Bailey loved to climb on him and lead him around by his collar, well, as much as a 20 lb. girl could lead a 100 lb. dog. She also liked to hold his food dish while he ate.

We miss him terribly. As Bailey said so often, “Good boy, Cowboy.”

On the occasion of your second birthday

The time is flying by for us. Two years ago you wanted nothing more than to be held, eat, and sleep. A year ago you were just learning how to walk. Now you are running all over the place, climbing (sometimes on things you shouldn’t be), swinging from ropes over foam pits, and balancing while standing on your rocking horse. Your fearlessness amazes us. A few falls and bumps have done nothing to temper that.

Your happy nature and outgoing personality draw people in. Every time we take you out, you introduce yourself to someone new. You are like your mother in that way. It’s a gift I don’t have and something I admire in you.

You also have a stubborn streak. I say you get that from your mother too, but she insists that you got it from me. We have seen you about to throw something and tell you not to do it. Then we watch as you consider the consequences, throw it anyway, and then put yourself in time out.

The other side of that stubborn streak is your enthusiasm. You put your heart into everything you do. Keep that passion, it will serve you well when you decide what you want to do in your life.

Another aspect is your helpfulness. You were so proud the first time I let you help me clear the table and gave you a plate to carry to Mommy in the kitchen. The intense look of concentration on your face as you made sure not to drop the plate or the silverware on top of it. You made it and came back for more. You helped until the entire table was clean. Little things like that show your generosity of spirit. Nurture that as you mature and you will be a blessing to everyone around you.

You have been a blessing to us. I love being your Daddy. God bless you. I love you. Happy Birthday Sunshine.

The good things

This has been a good week for learning. I went to an off-site training class for work. This was a three-day class. I was expecting a corporate style class on business communication. I got so much more. It was an intense class – especially today. Maybe more on that later, but maybe not.

The good part about a class that is coming home to what it important. An added benefit to these three days was being home to give Bailey her bath and get her ready for bed.

And then the topper, spending time with her before putting her down for the night. I was flipping her lip. She loved it. Here is the result.


Last week I posted about the annoying comparison of a football contract to a marriage. The AP continued that yesterday:

Favre retired in March, but then decided he still wanted to play. After a messy divorce with Green Bay, the Packers traded him to New York, where he’s going through his 18th training camp.

Our media culture can’t tell the difference between a sports contract and a marriage. No wonder the institution of marriage is in trouble. I think this comes from an emerging idea that marriage is nothing more than a civil contract to be dissolved when at least one party finds the continuation of the contract to be inconvenient.

So the question, is our society’s outlook of marriage to low, or our view of sports too high?