Five years ago, I picked up this teeny tiny two day old ball of fur. She was from a litter of six; they said her mother died. She fit in the palm of my hand with plenty of room left over. Her eyes were closed up tight, but she had a fierce sense of smell; within a couple of days, she knew when I was making her bottle, and she loved to snuggle down into the pocket of my fuzzy robe (and later, the baby sling as I wore her for weeks to keep her close to me as I taught school).
She was supposed to go back to the shelter to be adopted out…we couldn’t let her go. We had fallen in love with her, and she believed we were her pack. She knew no other. Sending her away would have been cruel (for all of us). She stayed.
She grew …
…and she grew…
…and she grew (as all babies do).
Puppers, 1 year old
She developed the oddest trait I’ve ever seen in a dog: she watched our faces and learned what smiles and tears were. She started to imitate laughing when we laughed (huge toothy smile and head bobbing up/down) and would “hug” me when I cried (sitting beside me and putting her paws around me with her head on top of my head/shoulder).
She’s learned to stay away from the electric fence (although she hated Beef the Bull for years because she was convinced he “bit” her when she got too near his fence), run the pigs back into their area if they get loose, corral loose chickens without killing them so I can get ahold of them, and not hurt kittens/cats. She learned that bees sting so she shouldn’t try to eat them.
She learned her favorite spot is the front seat in the pickup but will move immediately if told to do so (although she moves with a sassy attitude because she thinks the kids should go to the back and she should get the front).
She’s a little slower now due to her right knee replacement surgery this past fall and contracting Lyme disease when she was about three. We have to help her in/out of the truck; gone are the days of jumping straight off the ground up into “her” seat. The right knee healed well…but now the left knee is starting to give her trouble. I tease her that by the time I get all her knees replaced, she will wind up costing more than Ted paid for my little used Smartcar. I love her though, and I hope she’s with me for many more years.
Happy fifth birthday, Puppers! I’ve had several dogs over the years, and I’ve loved them all, but you’re one of the very best companions I’ve ever been blessed to know!