12 years ago she was a shivering, terrified puppy

Now, she’s one of my best friends

Just over 12 years ago I met Jedi. She was a shivering, terrified puppy… In the intervening years she has become one of my best friends. I know… it’s a cliché.

When we first got Jedi she was a nightmare

She ate shoes, chewed doors and mobile phones, destroyed carpets and dug up gardens and ate through spa pool covers.

But, she walked with me at 6am and was there when I answered calls from journalists in the freezing cold as we walked around the park.

Her barks warded off burglars who robbed our neighbours. She was there through heartaches we suffered and wagged her tail when we laughed.

I carried her (20+ kilograms!) to the car when she snapped her cruciate ligament at the beach and I cried my heart out when she was diagnosed with cancer (which she survived). I patted her and whispered to her and held her after her surgeries.

She guarded Mr 9’s cot when he was born. She lay underneath it and whimpered when he cried. I remember when she stood guard at his bedroom door at night when we had the front door open, with the wire door locked, because it was so hot in the house.

When we went for a walk with Jedi and Mr 9 was still a baby in his pram, she would place herself between any person on the footpath and the pram.

And then there’s all the times she has taken a shit in the house — never on the timber floorboards, always on the carpet!

And she does hilarious stuff like when she climbs up the stairs in the dark, despite her arthritis, because there’s a storm and she’s terrified of the sound of thunder… And I can hear the little jangle of her collar as she cowers just outside our room at the top of the stairs. I’m not sure if she wants to sleep next to me on the carpet because she’s scared or if it is because she wants to protect me.

The time when I suffered a major depression and I started taking antidepressants was made easier by Jedi; my friend who always listens to me and just loves me for who I am.

Because that’s what she does.

And I’ve never known any being with so much love in her heart. Or maybe​ she’s just playing me for a fool so that I’ll scratch her tummy and pat her head and feed her Russian sausage

Here’s what I do know: my life is so much happier and warmer and funnier thanks to Jedi. When I was a kid I was terrified of dogs. Now I love my dog so much that the thought of not having her in my life causes me to tear up…

I love you Jedi. You’re my best friend.

Woof!

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