I wrote one of these last year for Ranger and while I doubt it meant anything to him I really enjoyed the exercise and how much it made me think about how important he is in my life. It made sense to repeat the exercise for both dogs this year.
I love you Ranger. I love you so very much. You are the calm anchor in my day. Your patience in the face of your sister's craziness, your understanding of what she needs and your gentle disciple when she's out of hand are a constant inspiration. Watching how you interact with Finna teaches me so much about what she needs from me and how to communicate with her. You are so wonderful. I love taking you for walks and how we can wander for hours without talking. You are such a wonderful dog and you make everyone happy just by being you. I love how good you make me look; without being slavishly attentive you still do what I ask of you. People think I'm a good trainer but I know it's really just you and how wonderful you are. I love that I can take you anywhere and be confident that you will behave with your usual great manners. I love the feel of your fluffy coat and the smell of your fur. You are my heart.
Finna, I love you too. Despite the unsocialized start you had in life I love how you've bonded with me and members of my family. I love you for how much you are teaching me about patience and about dog behaviorism. I love celebrating your triumphs and trying to find solutions for your problems. I love the fact that because I'm trying to teach you patience I'm getting so much more yard work done. After I throw the ball I pick up the rake and clear another patch of leaves or dig up the volunteer plants and replant them by the fence. You have to wait for me to finish before I chuck the ball again. I love the fact that you do wait and don't make a pest of yourself. I love that you have learned the finished cue and accept that we are done with playing fetch or training or whatever. I love all the hats I'm making as I sit quietly in my chair so that you can relax and not worry about what I'm doing. Most of those hats will be going to St. Vincent de Paul to warm the heads of those in need. Your presence in our lives is reaching beyond our home to benefit those we've never met. That's a wonderful thing. I also love the people you're bringing into my life as we build the team that I need to help you. If I'd known exactly what we were getting into I might not have had the courage to bring you home with us but despite all your issues and all your problems and all the work that you are I'm still glad that we did. I'm looking forward to writing you and Ranger another Valentine next year and being able to see how far you've come.
Happy Valentine's Day Ranger and Finna.