I can't believe it's been 13 summers since Dad surprised Kelly with a little ball of vanilla fluff named Dakota. I'll never forget taking him with us to watch Tim run the 4th of July 10k a week or so after we got him. Kelly, Lindsay & I laughed so hard watching him chase after all the runners as they warmed up. He would be chasing in one direction but as soon as runners went by going the opposite way, he would flip around and chase them.
After Tim crossed the finish line, we headed back to the car which was parked several blocks away (the finish line was also the end of the 4th of July parade - LOTS of people). After about 10 steps though, that dang puppy decided he was done walkin', sat his little butt down and would not budge. Kel, Linds & I ended up lugging that worn out, not-so-lite ball of fluff all the way back to the car. I remember being pretty hot & tired by the time we got there, but I didn't regret it one bit. It was so fun watching him.
My family said goodbye to that sweet guy yesterday. From the first day we got him he brought us all so much joy. Thanks mom & dad for giving us one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids - the friendship & unconditional love of a dog! We've had some of the best over the years and although its hard to lose them, I wouldn't miss it for the world.
There will never be a sweeter, more loving dog than Dakota. I'm gonna miss you big guy!