As the New Year approaches and we face the hard truth that this will likely be Jackie's last with us, I thought it might be appropriate to explain (or try to), what our dogs really mean to us.
I'm pretty sure that anyone who has ever had a dog knows how much they become a part of the family. It seems like ours are so much more than that. When I was pregnant, one of Sean's friends said to us: "I know you love your dogs, but imagine that love times a thousand, that's how much you'll love that baby." Then the baby came and oh man, do we love her! When she was a couple months old, Sean came into the room to find me sitting with Jackie and Natalee and I was crying. He asked me what was wrong and I said to him "I don't know if I'm a very good mom… because I love these dogs every bit as much as I love my baby." He said to me, "We just love our dogs more than anyone else can really understand, and you're a great mom." It absolutely breaks my heart to think of our home without either one of our dogs there. It will seem very quiet without Jackie's "huffing" (she had a radical debark about a year ago after some pretty serious throat problems). And although we will probably have a new dog in a very short amount of time, we will never ever replace the ones that we have now.