Puppers was my first dog ever. During my childhood, my parents thought we were not home enough with our busy lives to give a dog a proper home. I still longed for a dog. As soon as my husband and I moved out of our first apartment, we started looking for a puppy. We stopped at a place to look for the perfect pup, just to look. We saw a little black puppy pawing at a chain in her kennel. She was a terrier/poodle mix. It was love at first sight. We played with her, and she got so excited she tinkled a little on the floor. We thought it was so funny! (Though she did ruin our carpets in our first home, because she continued to do that when someone came home!) We were actually on our way to a party downtown so we couldn’t bring her home that night. We put money down and picked her up in the morning. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car with her wriggling on my lap, tears streaming down my face because I was so happy I finally had my own dog.
Puppers became a focal point of our life. People would think we were crazy, because we went on and on about her. We were overprotective of her. We even threw her a birthday party when she turned one-complete with a kegger and a birthday cake that said “Happy Birthday, Puppers.”
We then got a friend for Puppers, a miniature pinscher named Goofy. They played a little bit, but they always seemed to coexist rather than be buddies. (Goofy also got a birthday party when she turned one!) We then moved into our current home and added three children to their lives. My husband would bring one of the baby blankets home for the dogs to sniff, before the baby and I would come home. When each baby was around six months old, the baby always liked to grab the dog bones on the floor. Puppers would then tug ever so gently, and the baby and Pups would play a little game of tug of war.
With three children in the house, the dogs, of course, were not the focal point in our lives as they first were. But they continued to be an important and loving part of our family. We take them on our family trips. They love to run and run when we go to my inlaws’ vacation home, which has a lot of land for them to explore. They enjoy going up north to my family’s cabin. Puppers once even jumped in the lake when my son stumbled into it. Dogs just have pure genuine love for their family, and the love is definitely reciprocated.
This past weekend, we had to put our sweet Puppers to rest; she was 12 ½ years old. She was becoming more and more ill in the past four months. In October, we took her to a university hospital, who told us she most likely had cancer. A tumor on her neck was small then, but grew to where she couldn’t swallow last week. Her last few months were very good though. The doctors put her on steroids to make her last months more comfortable. I am thankful I had those last few months to love her and prepare myself a little bit for the inevitable. She was such a great dog. I miss her.