Gandalf and Andrea's Story
Grab a tissue… I’m about ready to punch you in your heart. This is a love story with a sad ending.
I met you for the first time and thought “fake it ‘til you make it”. I knew that loving you… this giant
beast who came snorfling at me with rivers of drool, dog stench, a pimp limp and aloofness for days was the true way to my future husband’s heart. I knew from the instant I met you because you are his spirit animal… the similarities in your personalities and auras hit me in the face.
“Fake it ‘til you make it”. I smiled at you. I tried not to show fear or my complete uncomfortableness
when you got too close. I got good at pretending like I was so looking forward to a life with the 3 of us.
When I went back home to Minneapolis, after the first time meeting you… I don’t ever remember having the thought “Can’t wait to see him again!”.
I was looking through my phone and I don’t even have pictures of you until May… dude, that’s FIVE
MONTHS AFTER I MOVED IN!!! I was feeding you, walking you (you were an a-hole on a leash… my arm felt like it was being pulled out of its socket), cleaning up after you (most notably my new, beautiful, modern designer sofa I purchased with my first client check from my design biz which was now full of dog drool, endless fur and god knows what else you did on that thing), I was CARING FOR YOUR EVERY NEED and I didn’t have ONE picture of you. I wasn’t a willing mom… I endured you.
I honestly don’t know when that changed. But it changed. I had the rhetoric for so long about what a
menace to society you were and how I was a freakin’ saint for being your reluctant mom. I put on that
front for a long time. But ever so slowly, I fell in love. With your dad… that love hit me in the face like a
ton of bricks. With you… you just piled them on one by one… until I couldn’t breathe and then I just
succumbed to the weight of your energy, loyalty and love. And then it was perfect. You still had that
bad boy persona but I always knew I was your #2 (I had no intention of taking your dads spot. He
deserved that. You peed on a baby and he still claimed you as his).
We rolled like that ‘til the end. Every day you weaseled your little Phatty ways into my heart and soul.
The way you thumped your tail and destroyed anything in its path when either of us would walk in the
door… I still hear it. The perfect bubbles you could blow with your drool as you waited for any dropped
morsels of food, or looked longingly out the window at the mailman – what a tasty little treat he would
have made for you. The constant display of your manhood, in my face, AT ALL TIMES! Like I would
forget what your balls looked like. You raided the garbage and ripped off the cabinet doors multiple
times to get to it, you downed dehydrated chili your dad had been making for a week for a boyz trip,
you devoured 16,000 calories worth of bacon cream cheese wontons in one, fell swoop. But also, you
were my fearless protector… you would have done anything to save your damsel in distress. Your agility
and athletic prowess was a force to be reckoned with, my mighty little beast. You cuddled when you
needed to, when we demanded it. You rarely were the instigator. I loved your independence.
When dad decided to run his construction business out of our home, you became an HR nightmare. All
tolled, I think we paid a few hundred dollars in “hush” money to pizza delivery dudes, UPS and FedEx
drivers. You liked the taste of pants.
From the minute your daddy picked you up, your only job was to provide comfort to him. He had just
lost his papa suddenly and needed something to shift his love and energy to. You did that in spades. It
took a ton of energy to keep a bolt of lightning puppy entertained. When he didn’t, the results were
catastrophic: teething on the inside of his car leaving the plastic door panels and headliner in bits, the
metal grate of your kennel bent to smithereens via your mouth and escaping the backyard and ending
up in overnight doggy jail with all the other thugs of North Portland. You ate one of each of Oma’s shoes
in her closet. Went through THEM ALL… including 2 pairs of Ferragamo’s. I can’t believe she still let you
in her house after that. We’ve never been able to keep up with the physical activity you’ve demanded
which had resulted in you taking yourself for lots of walk abouts. With so much personality and love,
the stories of your time with us are endless. I cherish every one… the naughtier, the better… ‘cause
that’s our boy.
Each year, you’ve ached a little bit more and became the poster child for the opioid epidemic in the US.
In the end, the pain killers just couldn’t compete with what 115 pds. of mass can do to joints. We made
the hardest decision of our lives and decided you had completed your job here. It was time to let you go
to Valhalla. So, with our arms wrapped around your noble, majestic body and my face nuzzled in your
neck, with candles lit (our city interpretation of arrows shooting through the air), ancient Viking music
playing in the background and a chorus of “good boys”, we helped you slip away.
Gandy, Ganderschloggendoggen, Bubbies, Phat One, Phattums, Phatty… GANDALF… you were the very
best of companions. Thank you for your spirit, your loyalty, your independence, your unconditional
love. We were the lucky ones. Rest in Peace with all the other warriors. See you later, our most loyal,