It was my birthday yesterday, and I had to lay down Mister President, my dog of ten years, to rest forever.
. . .
Mister President came to me at the height of my selfishness, during a time of my life when, fundamentally, I was interested only in myself, despite all the relationships I’d had up until that point. And when he came to me, he taught me how to care for someone else, to devote myself to someone else, to really love someone else — unreservedly and unconditionally .
. . .
In this way, he saved me. Without him, I don’t know if I would have been ready to fall in love with Laura when I met her, and more importantly, I don’t know if I would have known how to sustain that love. And without Mister President, I don’t know if I would have been equipped to care for and truly love our wonderful daughter.
In and of themselves, those are two enormous gifts that he gave me. This is what dogs do, I guess. You think you’re doing all the giving. But they give you more than you know in return.
We had a professional family portrait made in this same location when the kids were young. This past weekend, we updated it with our current family.