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It seems like only yesterday that Cinema was a tiny 10 pound bundle of adorable puppy love and a friend was telling me that I should treat her as though she was going to be 100 pounds.  I politely declined to pay any attention.

When Cinema was little lots of things were cause for great distress: new people, rowdy dogs, the noise of the big city, and vacuums… her arch nemesis. Whenever she was scared she’d crawl up my legs and beg me to hold her and comfort her and protect her from all of the frightening things in the world.  Many a night was spent trudging the half mile home from Damen & Milwaukee with a puppy in my arms because some kind soul wanted to pet her.  At night we’d sit on the back porch and she’d curl up around my feet and wait to be picked up and carried inside.  Even as the summer turned to fall rains, and then to winter’s bitter cold, she would always be there with me, waiting to be carried over the threshold.  It was her nightly hug, a reminder that she was loved more than anything in the world.

I always thought that as she got older, and became the brave and outgoing little soul that she’s become, she would grow out of the need for a protector and would forget our tradition of midnight hugs.  Now she’s a year old, 35 pounds, and nearly half of my body length, but to this day she sits with me every night rolled up in a little ball at my feet and waits for me to show her how much I love her.  And to this day, I still get to be her savior whenever the vacuum gets pulled out of the closet.  My back may regret it when I’m 60, but my heart won’t regret it for a second.