I remember when you chose us.
A friend shared that she knew someone in Reading, PA who was breeding her Berners and that she was expecting puppies soon. We contacted the breeder and arranged a time to visit. I had never seen a Berner before that day outside of the pictures Aimee would show me on her computer.
The drive felt like it took hours and hours. We made our way north into Pennsylvania, missing exits along the way on account of poorly marked roads. Retracing our steps until we finally arrived at your birthplace. You were outside in the yard with your brothers and sisters, mom and dad. Though you were one of six with nearly indistinguishable markings, you made it easy to pick the right match for us. You encircled our legs, nipping at our fingertips and shoelaces. You yipped in a tiny puppy voice. You never once struggled free when we held you. Pure joy filled our hearts and we loved you from first sight.
Our drive home felt empty, yet somehow full of anticipation. Because you were only 4 weeks old, we'd have to wait an additional month to take you home. In that time you would grow and your personality would begin to take shape. The family called you 'Striper' because of the long stipe running from the tip of your nose up past your eyes and settling somewhere behind your ears. We named you 'Avi', the namesake of one of our favorite authors and one that felt foreign enough to befit a Swiss dog, despite the fact that it's actually a traditional Jewish name.
It was pouring when we finally came to pick you up. Having nearly doubled in weight and size, you now resembled a giant rabbit, complete with flappy ears and oversized paws. Aimee sat in the backseat with you for the duration of our drive and you never once had an accident, never once cried. We stopped to let you stretch when we reached a halfway mark. I can still picture you tromping through the tall grass outside of the gas station as we smiled and smiled over our new addition.
I still smile every time I think of that day. The day you chose us.