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Hi I’m Phoenix! I loved visiting VCSS! I wish I could have seen them more often but my parents would only take me sometimes. They always gave a lot of treats and belly rubs. Belly rubs were always my favorite! Sometimes I would try to get the treats down from the counter! I got them once! I only had three legs so all the humans always underestimated me. I wasn’t born that way. One day my leg started hurting and this bump grew and then one day I woke and my leg was gone! I would hear my parents talk about this thing called cancer. Something with my legs or bones or something. I guess that’s why sometimes I was tired and sore and would have trouble breathing. But honestly I never thought about it too much. Life is too great! I could run faster than I could before and I got so much more attention! And peanut butter! So much peanut butter. Some days I felt tired but I wouldn’t show it. What’s the point of that? The humans at VCSS would do some weird things to me at their house. I would be tired after and I wouldn’t see my parents for what felt like weeks! They told me it would make me feel better and I guess it did. I felt great for a very long time. Longer than I should have. I would hear my parents and other humans talk about how great I was. How brave I was. How I was beating the odds. I don’t really know what any of that meant. I was just being myself! I’m a dog! I know it made my parents sad and I never wanted that. Two of my favorite things to do were run on the beach and run through the forest. I think they called it hiking. Another time I woke up and was really tired and someone had cut my hair really short. I don’t know what happened but I could breathe better! My mom made me wear a shirt like my dad wears so I wouldn’t scratch myself. It felt like forever but then we went to the beach again! Sometimes I would smell something funny and it would make me want to run back and forth and in circles. It would make my parents happy and smile and they would point those silly rectangles at me. Strange things made them happy but that’s ok. All I ever wanted to make my parents happy. I also lived with a small weird animal called a cat. He was ok. I would let him cuddle with me and sometimes I would put his whole head into my mouth just to see if it would fit. It fit. I loved eating stuff that my parents left out on the table. They must’ve figured I would be hungry while they were away. It was so nice, they would let me try things that I don’t normally eat, like hot dog buns, bananas with the skins, and even this dark yucky powder that I didn’t like. They were worried because I guess dog’s can’t eat that. I was fine. I was always fine. I know I had a purpose here to make people happy. When I would walk down the street with my parents ( I guess I hopped), my tongue would bounce up and down and sometimes slap my face. Humans smiled at me alot and sometimes wanted to meet me. I liked that. I don’t know much about the world but I know some humans are mean to each other, so I was always happy to make them smile. I hated skateboards, water, and car rides, but I loved humans and especially my parents! I know I wasn’t perfect but they loved me so much. I was perfect to them. I was really sad when I had to leave. They were getting married or something and I wish I could have been there, but it was time for me to go. I helped them as much as I could. I know they’ll be fine. I like to think I brought my parents together. Nobody knows but it was me who let my dad hang around after he met my mom! They cared for me and fought for me and I hope they know I did the same for them. I’m thankful I received so much care and love from all the humans everywhere! I hope I impacted your life as much you did mine!

– Angela and Sean T.