12 years ago I received the greatest Christmas gift I have ever received. 

 

December 2004. I had lost my childhood dog the year before and was ready to welcome some new puppy love into my life. I started the great search and one day stumbled across a 5 month old Cairn Terrier (a.k.a. Toto dog) online. The only other time I've felt love this instantly is when I had my children. The moment I saw my "Snuggles" dog I knew he was meant to be mine.

 

My husband said he would reach out to the seller, but told me later that the dog had unfortunately already been sold.

 

I could not get this dog out of my head. Any other dog that I looked at was just not the same.

 

Christmas Eve 2004 just before I went to bed the cutest little dog, MY SNUGGLES DOG, came running through the door of my brand new house and pee'd on my brand new carpet!

 

I remember that Christmas so fondly. Carrying that dog around and showing him off like he was my little baby.

Rick and Carly

Over the last 12 years Snuggles has welcomed 2 babies into our home. He went from being dressed up in silly doggie pajamas, sweaters, and going for three walks a day to being ignored half the time or pulled on by my kids. My neighbors will tell you their favorite part of living next to me is when Snuggles escapes out the front door and I can be seen running down the road chasing him yelling "SNNUUUUUUUGGGLES!!!"

Rick and Carly

When he was just barely a year old, Snuggles was hit by a car and broke his ankle. I didn't know how bad he was hurt at first and screamed at the woman who hit him, "He's my WHOLE WORLD!!!"

Rick and Carly

We've celebrated lots of doggie birthdays, he's always by my side in the kitchen, and his loyalty to me is to a fault. So many days I come home from work and instead of playing with him or taking him for a walk I am so tired that I just lay down and take a nap. He doesn't seem to care, he just wants to be by my side.

I've poured out my heart and soul to this little dog. When it has felt like no one could understand, when I've felt all alone in the world, he's been there. He doesn't judge me, he just loves me, no matter what. Animals are so beautiful in this way.

Rick and Carly

This past Thursday, Snuggles became very ill and by Friday morning we knew we needed to take him into the doctor. Turns out he had severe pancreatitis and had we not brought him in when we did we could have easily lost him.

Rick and Carly

After 4 days in the hospital we were able to bring him home last night. He has a big bald spot on his back from a pain patch, his legs have been shaved from IV's, quite honestly he's never looked worse and yet I don't think I've ever loved him more. He's like my Christmas present all over again!! He's the gift that keeps on giving, and the Greatest Christmas Gift I've ever received.