My very first pet was a Golden Retriever puppy… we got her when I was five-ish and we named her Clementine. She was the sweetest dog and we all loved her so much. When my parents moved us to our new house a few years later, we no longer had a fenced in back yard so my parents thought that it would be best for Clemmie to move in with my grandparents so she could have a nice big back yard to roam and get exercise. She lived there until she eventually had to be put down because of cancer around the age of ten. I remember being sad about losing her, but since I was so young and had not been seeing her every day for the last few years, the loss wasn’t completely devastating.
A couple of years after Clementine went to live with my grandparents, my parents decided to adopt a cat since our yard was no longer appropriate for large dogs. Why we got a cat, I will never know, because none of us have ever really been big cat people. With that being said, I adored Monet, and he spent the majority of his time with me. He let me hold him like a baby, he loved to curl up next to me, and he loved to snuggle. He was basically a dog. That’s probably why I loved him so much. A couple of years later, my baby brother was born, and my mom saw Monet climb in the bassinet with him… that was the end of having a cat! By that time Monet had become quite annoying anyway – he was always scratching on the furniture, screeching to get outside in the middle of the night, and then howling to get back in once my parents had let him out. That in conjunction with the fact that my mom was worried he would smother the baby meant that he had to go, so some of my parents’ friends adopted him. They had a lot of land where Monet was free to roam, so he was probably happier anyway.
A couple of years later in 1995, my mom left one day to run some errands, and she brought home the cutest, goofiest little doggie I had ever seen. He looked like a cartoon! I remember seeing him for the first time like it was just yesterday. I was thirteen years old and I was going through that rough puberty/dealing with mean junior high girls phase and he brought so much joy to my life during a time of uncertainty. My parents had every intention of getting him for my youngest brother, Alex, who was two at the time, so they let Alex name him. His name of choice? Bill. Haha.
Well, Bill and I became fast friends and from the very beginning he loved me the most. He started sleeping with me every night and he always wanted to be with me. He was the sweetest dog, he never barked, and he loved me unconditionally. He was also my protector. He never liked any of my boyfriends and he always growled at anyone who got too close to me, although he would have never hurt a flea. He was there for me during all of the pivotal moments in life – high school homecomings and proms, my first job, high school graduation, college graduation, meeting the boy who I would eventually marry, getting engaged, and finally my wedding. He kept me company during countless late night phone chats with my girlfriends, he kept me warm during long winter nights (he would always sleep in the crook behind my knees), and he was always there to give me a cuddle when I needed to cry. He probably knew more about me than any actual person simply because he was under my feet every second of the day when I was at home. I loved him more than I have ever loved any animal in the entire universe. We had 13 long years together, and on December 17, 2008 we finally had to say goodbye.
He had been suffering for a while and he was so old, so when my parents called that morning to let me know what we needed to do, I didn’t argue. B and I were newlyweds – we had just celebrated our first anniversary – so I was no longer living with my parents. I made the short car trip from our house to my parents’ house that morning and I rode with my parents to the vet. I cradled Bill all the way there and I was with him when he drifted off for the last time. I hate to sound dramatic, but I felt like a tiny part of me died that day with him. It was a sort of unofficial end to my childhood. He had been my constant companion for over half of my life and I was just lost without him.
|My birthday 1999|
About a year later, I had finally reached the point of feeling like I was ready for another pet, so B and I set out to find a small dog. One of my friends helped join the search, and she emailed a YouTube video of some tiny Yorkie-poo puppies for sale to me. We went to see the puppies – there were three of them – and I fell in love with the runt of the bunch. She was less than one pound at the time and she wasn’t quite old enough to leave her mommy yet, so we had to wait a few weeks before taking her home. We still didn’t have a name for her when we brought her home, but we ended up deciding to go with Maui, after our honeymoon destination. Everyone thought that was a peculiar choice since our honeymoon was such a disaster (I’ll have to tell you about it sometime), but we thought it would be nice to have something positive to associate our honeymoon with.
Well, we got to know her over those next few weeks and months and it turns out that she is Bill reincarnated. I swear, it’s the wildest thing. She has the same mannerisms, she does some of the same crazy things that Bill used to do, she has the exact same scent as Bill did (which is really unique), her hair feels the same as his did, and she even looks like a mini version of him. It’s weird. And so wonderful.
|Meeting each other for the first time.|
We will celebrate our girl’s 7th birthday in December. My, how time flies. She’s such a good girl – she never barks, she loves us, she adores our babies, and her little-four-pound-self completes our family. We are so thankful to have her in our lives and I pray that she’s around for at least another decade!
*Linking up with Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesday, Our Pretty Little Girls for Tuesday Talk, and Stang & Co. and Crown Me in Glitter for Talk About It Tuesday..