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I remember the day we put the deposit check in the mail like it was yesterday. All the nervous anticipation and excitement…it didn’t quite feel real. Unlike when we adopted Luna, this was a “planned pregnancy.” I remember as we drove up the long driveway to go pick him up…we had been counting down to this day for what seemed like forever. Sitting with all the puppies as he checked us out and sat in my lap…as Luna attentively surveyed from outside the pen. I remember how funny his little face was as he got his first bath and how tiny he looked in the breeder’s, big hands.

I remember cuddling him in the car on the way home, telling him how much I loved him already and how long I had waited for him. We were so worried that we would have to stop frequently on the long car ride home, but instead he curled up in a ball in my lap and slept the whole way home. Until we got to the Golden Gate, he woke up just in time for his first Bridge crossing.

We took him right to our neighborhood park, to the picnic bench where we always play with Luna. He was so tiny, but charged through the grass, fearlessly chasing after his new big sister. Luna, for better or worse, instantly became his foster doggie mom, without so much as a second thought…she just knew he was hers to take care of. His first night was a breeze, well, at least for Nero and us. Luna, I am sure, didn’t sleep a wink as she watched over him.

Nine weeks and nine pounds lasted a split second. I can guarantee you, he grew as quickly in person as he appears to in these photographs. These photographs aren’t just pictures I threw together. Each one tells a story, has a meaning and a memory.

I don’t believe that words can ever truly express how a dog “owner” feels about their dog. And I’m so grateful to be left speechless. This video is dedicated to my Dude, my son, my friend and protector. My Nero.