Oh, Indy. Dear, sweet Indy. Today you are four. Despite all my best intentions, your life has changed a lot since Nico came into it. Daily walks are a thing of the past and your training has somewhat fallen by the wayside. I never resented you or found you grating on my nerves like some people warned me I would after adding a baby, but over Nico's first year I admit I just didn't have a lot of space left at the end of the day for you, attention-wise or emotion-wise. I never stopped loving you, but you definitely slipped into my periphery a little bit. Now that Nico is nearly two and caring for him is becoming less all-consuming, I find that I am appreciating you all over again.
I appreciate your steadfastness, your calm, your huge heart. I appreciate that after two years of mostly letting you be, you'll still sit when told and stay when asked. Maybe you do beg at the table more than I'd prefer now that there's a steady source of fallen Goldfish crackers and bits of pasta, but you don't try to steal food from Nico's hands or tray. We try to make sure you have your own space and safe places to lie down, but when Nico does manage to get his hands on you, you've been admirably patient. Usually you just look up at me with big long-suffering eyes as he enthusiastically pats you on the back or grabs your tail. Even the day he clocked you square in the nose with a truck in his excitement to say hello, you just yelped and looked up at me as if to say A little help, here?
In a perfect life, we'd reinstate those daily walks and weekly training sessions, but in reality, we have a toddler. Things are not going to get any less hectic. I promise, though, to take you out when I can, to take the time to give you a scratch on the head, to appreciate your steady and undemanding company. You'll always be the dog who turned me into a dog person, the dog of my heart. Thank you for being you, and happy birthday. Here's to many, many more.