A dog turning 11 doesn’t seem like much of a big deal to most dog owners.
11 isn’t old in many dog breeds, pure or mixed.
Leroy turning 11 is huge to me.
Not only is 11 towards the top of the average lifespan for a Newfie, but it is also way past the normal lifespan of a dog like Leroy.
When Leroy was younger I used to say that he had a death sentence.
When I spoke those words back then I had no idea how true they really were.
We’ve almost lost Leroy more than I care to remember.
It seems like every year for the past 5 years we’ve had a near-death experience with him.
Last year was the most recent where I honestly thought that Leroy wasn’t coming home with us when we carried him into the vet office.
That day pains me because I almost gave up on him.
I was faced with the quality over quantity of life decision and while I could never have my fill of Leroy, I thought that he was done loving life in his present-day life.
I was trying not to be selfish and make a responsible decision.
I mean how much could a dog’s body go through?
Apparently, more than my body ever could because today we’re celebrating Leroy’s 11th birthday and he’s thriving.
Leroy is unlike any dog that I’ve had before.
We are the same in so many ways that it’s scary.
We both like to be silly.
We like to laugh and spread joy.
We’re determined and strong and we push the limits.
We’re extremely food motivated.
We’re sassy and we say what’s on our mind.
We’re not afraid of conflict but try to avoid it because life is better without it.
We almost share the same birthday and I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
There are a few areas that we disagree on but that’s totally normal because he’s a dog and I’m not.
For Leroy’s 11th birthday we’re not doing much.
He has every toy he could ever want and his strict diet doesn’t allow him special treats anymore.
He will be enjoying what most dogs enjoy and that’s the wind blowing through his fur when we take him for his first ride in the Jeep with the tops off.
The preparation for this outing did cost some since I thought it only right to buy him a pair of goggles to protect his eyes from the wind.
I also bought him a new seatbelt harness, because you never know what Leroy might do.
Then there are the balloons that cost me a small fortune and 2 trips to the store.
The first set of 11 balloons deflated overnight and the second set of 11 balloons cost me double, because…… helium shortage.
So it really seems like Leroy isn’t the one getting a gift for his birthday, he’s given me the gift of celebrating him.
Happy 11th Birthday Roy, I love more than I could ever put into words buddy.