Joe and I started talking about moving in together quite soon after we started dating, and before we moved in together we started talking about getting a pet. We flirted with the idea of a rabbit but in the end the thought of a dog of our own won out, and we started looking for schnauzers.
We picked a schnauzer for two reasons – one because I’m allergic and schnauzers are one of those breeds that has hair instead of fur, and two because there were several already in Joe’s family, including his brother’s dog who was pretty great.
And thus we came to stumble on an ad online – a family who had bred their own miniature schnauzer with another and were selling the puppies. We drove up to meet them.
Before we took that drive we read books about puppies and schnauzers in particular, we sought out advice and made plans. We knew that we should not pick the first puppy who came to us and we should not pick the runt.
We got to the house, knocked on the door, and before we could get our shoes off we both had puppies in our hands. There were eight puppies in the litter, three girls and five boys, and I was holding a cubby little girl with a pink ribbon around her neck. With eight puppies the family had decided to colour code.
I handed her back and was given another puppy, this one with a blue ribbon. He was the runt. They called him Tiny Tim. He was so small I could almost hold him in one hand, but I cupped my hands together and held him up to my face. Given the opportunity he licked my nose. And thus we decided he was ours.
He was dubbed Chancellor Heinrich von Fluffenstein Puppyface (Henry for short) and he stayed ours for 13 years.
We brought him home on December 21, 2005 and said goodbye to him on February 2, 2019. Through four moves, a new baby, several illnesses on his part, he stayed ours. And now there is a hole in our family.
People who have never given their heart to a pet will never understand what it is to lose one. They are a member of your family. They love you without question. It is our job to love and protect them in return.
In my heart I know that we gave Henry the best life we could. He was deeply loved. He was, at times, a ridiculous dog, but overwhelmingly a very good boy and my very best buddy.
The night we welcomed him into our family I held him in the car the whole way home, trying to make him feel safe and comfortable. Today I held him as he took his last breath, trying to convey every ounce of love I feel for him.
My dear Henry, there will never be another like you.