Leroy and I were supposed to share a birthday.
His mama’s due date was July 2nd and I was so excited that we were going to have this day in common.
It actually justified my decision to get him since I was so wary of getting a second Newfoundland at the time.
Of course, Leroy didn’t stick to his original due date and he and his siblings decided to come 2 days early.
I was slightly bummed but figured we could celebrate together despite the two-day difference.
And that’s exactly what we did for 11 years.
We shared birthday cakes with our names on it and we shared birthday dinners.
Of course, Leroy always got more presents and more balloons than me but that was o.k.
Today we’re celebrating Leroy’s first birthday in heaven.
His first heavenly birthday.
Yesterday I had written a sad and depressing blog post to share about missing him but when I woke up today I wasn’t feeling the sad vibes.
Instead, I was feeling more in the celebrating mood and I’m happy about that because that was the way Leroy would want me to celebrate him.
I thought it would be fun to share some of our memories over Leroy’s life starting with the day we first got him.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
He was being flown in from North Dakota so we headed to the dock to pick him up.
It was the Delta dock and I was so nervous to meet him!
We were there when Leroy’s flight arrived and we patiently waited for his crate to be taken off the plane.
When it was brought to us, there he was.
A brown fluffy ball, cool as a cucumber inside his crate.
He wasn’t nervous, he was just waiting there wagging his tail.
We quickly checked him over and then drove him to the vet to show him off.
Next, we headed home and that’s when the adventure began
Leroy was a handful from day 1.
He was full of energy, curious about his new home, and always into trouble.
He wanted to bond with Sherman in the worst way but it would take years before that would even slightly happen.
The next thing that Leroy wanted to bond with was the garbage can.
Shocking now that you look back, right?
Favorite Memory of Leroy
There was a lot but if I had to give just one it would be the day that Leroy earned his championship title in the show ring.
I wasn’t there for it but it was just as special and meaningful.
Leroy was a natural in the ring and he enjoyed it.
Being one of the few brown dogs in the ring (because the browns weren’t as popular as they are now) he was an underdog and it was always a pleasure to see him win.
He stuck out like a sore thumb in a line of black dogs with heavy coats but he was a solid dog, what you saw was what you felt, and he had beautiful movement.
He went into the show needing a major to become a champion and the lineup was tough.
It was the biggest show of the year and he nailed it like the champ that he was.
Funniest memory of Leroy
There were many but the day he pulled my pants down in front of a busy intersection had to be one of the funnier things that he did.
I can still picture the whole scene in my head and I still laugh hysterically at it.
He was always ready and willing to embarrass me anywhere, anytime.
Worst Memory of Leroy
Unfortunately, with his declining health, there were many of these, but the worst had to be when he was in ICU for a week.
I would go to visit him every day and it was so hard to see his lifeless body in the kennel.
He was in good hands with his own staff that would monitor him 24/7 but it broke my heart.
What was even worse was the day we brought him and he bit my head.
I was trying to help him get up, he didn’t want help and he turned around and bit my head.
The actual bite didn’t hurt as much as my feelings and I cried for hours.
How Leroy Spent His First Birthday
As I mentioned before, Leroy was a handful from day 1.
On his first birthday, Leroy got ahold of a remote control and took the battery out.
He proceeded to chew the battery and had acid burns on his tongue.
Because of this, he spent his first birthday at the vet clinic being monitored.
Favorite picture of Leroy.
There are thousands of pictures of Leroy and it’s impossible to pick just one.
He was the most photogenic dog that I’ve ever had and he loved to pose for the camera but this one has remained one of my all-time favorites because it was when he was recovering from being in the hospital.
He had been home for a few months and was just starting to come back to life.
I look at it and I see, “I am Leroy. Hear me roar.”
Strength, courage, and determination are what described him from here on out.
I could write a book about Leroy and maybe someday I will.
He was my once in a lifetime dog and I knew that before he was gone which was why I treasured every day with him.
To end, I wanted to share with you that he finally did visit me in my dreams last month.
It was a rushed visit and Sherman put him up to it because he was standing right behind him, but he was good and enjoying himself.
He told me that he would come back again when he had more free time. Lol.
Happy Birthday in heaven big boy. Party hard.