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In Memory of Leon 

On February 5, 2009, we lost our beloved Leon. It was too sudden and too soon and his passing has left our hearts so broken and empty. He was, quite simply, the love of our lives. Leon was so much more than a dog—he was our fur baby, our best friend, our joy. He was such a part of our lives and we miss everything about him from his crusty nose down to his toasty toes. We can only find comfort in the fact that we loved him fiercely, gave him the best life we could offer and appreciated him every single day.

How can you sum up a life—especially one so full of incredible memories? Leon was an original for sure. He was a Brooklyn Boy through and through (okay, so he started his young puppyhood in New Jersey, but we don’t talk about that!) He was proud, loyal, handsome, opinionated, and tough on the outside but a mush on the inside. He was a real character and was so full of personality. He touched everyone he met—from family to friends, to officemates, to passersby on the street. He put smiles on countless faces.

Leon so fully complimented our lives, it was as though he was made for us (we believe he was, of course.) He was our constant companion and went with us everywhere we could take him. He loved being a couch potato and could lounge like a champion, but he also loved adventures. He loved nothing more than riding in the car with us, preferably sitting in the front seat, looking out the window, wondering where the day would take us. Sometimes the car would take him to some of his favorite places, like Grandma’s house (he loved her backyard and the food she would sneak him) or Prospect Park in Brooklyn (although he was a city boy, he loved nature), but ultimately he just loved to be with us, doing whatever we were doing.

All Leon ever wanted to do was to be with us. Even as a puppy, when we were trying to be stern and make him learn to sleep at night in his crate, he wasn’t having it. He cried and cried all night, every night for a full month until one night we couldn’t take it anymore and brought him up into our bed. Well, that’s all it took. There was not one single peep out of him after that—he finally got what he had wanted all along and slept contentedly in our bed like an angel. In some ways he was very independent and almost a loner, but he loved his people. And his food.

Leon was an eternal optimist. Even though he was rarely ever allowed human food, he never gave up! Every time we were cooking or eating, there he was at our feet, looking up with his big, searching, soulful amber eyes, hoping for a scrap. He was utterly obsessed with food, and we could never blame him, because we are too. I swear our little guy could sniff out a single crumb within a 5-block radius and he never, ever forgot anyone that have him a treat. I mean, if someone behind the counter at the drugstore gave him a treat once, you better believe he was trying to pull us into that drugstore with all his might every time we walked past.

We know that we are so lucky. Leon came into our lives like a force of nature and demanded our full attention. He had it completely. We cherish every single moment we shared with him. Mark loves remembering what an amazing traveling companion Leon was when he was driving across country from Brooklyn to Portland, the day we fed him some pasta with cream and black truffles (he was a true gourmand) and his big, soft bat ears. Mona loves remembering sneaking Leon pieces of cheese when Mark wasn’t looking, snuggling with him on the couch/the bed/wherever and his warm, toasty smell. We miss you, our little shadow, our heart. Thank you for choosing us.

Forever in our hearts,

Mark + Mona