First off, I miss you more than anything and I hope you know that you leaving to go to Heaven so early is not my favorite, but it’s typical you to excuse yourself first so that you can go warm up the bed or room or in this case, Heaven.
I remember the day I got you and you got me. I saw you the day before at the ASPCA in Reno and when I finally got to meet you outside of the kennel you immediately jumped onto my shoulders and started giving me kisses. It was at that moment that I knew we were meant for each other.
I named you Achilles because of how strong, brave and loyal you were just like the Greek hero. In reality, you were always so much more than a Greek hero. You showed me how to be brave and stand up for the things I cared about. You forced to go outside of my comfort zone and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. You showed me unconditional love day after day, brought too many happy memories to count.
For the first year or so when I had you, you were a pain in the ass, but also you were having the time of your life. I remember when you first came home with me, you were so scared of walking up the stairs and you forced me to carry you up every time until we finally conquered your fear. You also loved chewing up everything and anything that I left on the floor of my room. I remember one time, I came in and saw red everywhere and immediately thought something terrible had happened. Upon closer inspection, you had just chewed up a red sharpie and gotten red marker all over the floor and yourself. You had red nails for the next week or two and I have to say, you looked like quite the pretty puppy.
The next few years, we were always on the move, but that never slowed you down. We moved to Seattle, into the downtown apartment which you liked but I hated since you always got sick from the dog run on the roof. After spending a year there, we moved out of that spot to Ballard right next to that park. I almost loved taking you there as much as you loved going there. But for some reason, you never learned NOT to try and bite the bees. I like to think you were just trying to protect me from them. This is also where we lived when we met your mom and sister, Jess and Doodle. I got the job with Amazon and you were able to start coming to the office with me. Needless to say, everyone loved you at the office. Everyone would stop by our row and say hi to you, even your mom. She had just gotten Doodle as a little puppy and you were the only dog she wasn’t scared of playing with. Your mom and I started setting up play dates to take you out to the park, or on lunch walkies and you two were immediately best friends.
Fast forward a few years, and you and I moved into our West Seattle apartment, which I think might have been one of your favorite ones yet. Your mom and I had been dating for a while now and she and Doodle were spending the night with you and me almost every day. A few months later, they moved in with us. We both worked from home and got to spend all day every day with you and your sister. You were officially Doodles big brother now and you trained her so well. She learned all your tricks on how to beg for food, how to properly run around me or your mom when playing fetch, and my favorite, how to play tug-o-war with your leashes.
One of the best parts of this new apartment was how close we lived to the park. It was the highlight of my day, every day, when we would go to there to throw the ball or frisbee or even the occasional stick you would find. Seeing you play, having the time of your life and make some of the most athletic catches always made me so happy and I couldn’t help but smile when I watched you.
A year later, the four of us moved down the street to the bigger apartment. We finally had that spare room, which of course meant, you finally had your own private bedroom. I’ll admit, even though I wish you would have slept and cuddled more with me, I know you were happiest and your most comfortable when you could sprawl out and sleep on your own big (memory foam) bed. You were the most spoiled boy and I loved it.
Shortly after moving here, you started getting sick. After too many tests, the doctors finally diagnosed you with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. Your stomach and small intestines started created too many inflammatory cells and you couldn’t properly digest your food and absorb its nutrients. You lost about half your body weight in just a few months as we were preforming tests and going to the best doctors. You were so sick and I hated not being able to do anything to help you or make you feel better. On November 2nd 2019, a gorgeous fall morning, you were out on your morning walk when you collapsed. The doctors say it was instant and you felt no pain.
There is so much more that I wish I could have done with you. I always wanted to live in a house with a yard so you could play every day. I wanted a bigger truck so when we went car camping you would be more comfortable. I wanted to take you back to Reno to the park we spent so many days at and so much more. That said, I loved and cherished every single second we spent together and you brought so much joy to my life.
I love you more than anything, Achilles. This next chapter will undoubtedly be the hardest since I will be doing it without you by my side, but I know you will be watching over me wagging you tail and waiting for me to get up there with you so you can give me, Jess, and Doodle all the kisses.
Love always and forever,