Just about 12 years ago I met a very special guy. I knew pretty quickly that we were meant to be together. We even slept together before we’d known each other a full 24 hours. Now I can’t nap without him.

Originally Joe and I talked about getting a bunny. A cat was out of the question. But when the idea of a dog started to percolate it became pretty clear that we needed a schnauzer, and after finding a family that had bred their own dog and meeting the puppies, this little guy made it pretty clear he was choosing us.

He was thrust into my hands by one of the daughters and as soon as he licked my nose I knew he had stolen my heart. We dubbed him Henry, sort for Heinrich, since schnauzers are a German bread. If you want to maintain formality you can call him the Chancellor. Often at home he is simply The Poo.

Whatever you call him, he’s a very good boy.

He’s had his ups and downs over the years. Two bladder surgeries, an embolism that left one of his hind legs partially paralyzed. This one time we brought home a loud squirmy thing that stole his laps and much of his attention, but he’s grown to tolerate her.

Overall I think he would say we’ve been good to him. We’ve loved him as best we can, but sometimes he just really needed a bath. He’s part of the family.

As he gets older, I start to wish more and more than he could talk to me. That he could tell me what he needs and wants.

We found out about his second round of bladder stones by happenstance. It turned out he had been in probably some pretty bad pain and we had no idea. That’s left me a little brokenhearted. What if he’s in pain right now and I don’t know it? How long do we have before we say goodbye?

His habits are changing. He’s an old man now. He struggles with stairs and sometimes he just wants to be alone in his crate. But then I’ll grab his leash and he’s ready to do, or I’ll lie down for a nap and he’ll be right back beside me.

He just is the best buddy I could have asked for, and I hope I have returned the favour.

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