When I was 9 years old I got a puppy for my birthday. He was a little pug puppy and for whatever reason I named him Butch. He was cute and playful. Sadly he had the Parvo virus and my parents didn’t realize it so within two weeks he had passed from this life. I was devastated. That is all I had wanted for my birthday and I loved him immediately. My dad, while he wasn’t always the best parent, he did have his moments. He decided that they would get me another puppy but this time they would wait until it was older and less susceptible to illness. So they found a little toy rat terrier that had been rescued from a loud abusive man and was being housed in a vets office. They paid $75.00 dollars (which is 1998, in rural Mississippi, is a lot more money than you might think) for her and on a very snowy afternoon, December 23, my parents brought her home to me. She was about 6 months old then. I wasn’t too sure about her to be honest. She didn’t look like what I expected and she was a little shy, but within no time we had bonded and I loved her more than I ever could have expected.
There she is on the right, getting acquainted with my grandmother’s dog
I named her Baby (I was obsessed with Dirty Dancing), and gave her a little pink collar which I wrote her name on in my crude little handwriting. We played and grew together. She went fishing with me. She visited friends with me. I was home schooled so she was a dear companion. I spent a lot of my time with my grandmother and Baby was always there with me.
When I was 14 my Mother, brother, sister and I had to move in with my aunt and uncle. Baby had to stay with some friends for a few weeks, but soon she joined us in our Alabama adventures. She moved with us into a dank little trailer park, and then into our first house, and then again when my mother got remarried and then again when I moved in with my boyfriend. The only time we ever really spent apart was the year I spent in apartment with my friend Chelsea, and even then I would visit her on the weekends. She eventually joined me in the apartment and then the house I moved into after that and then in my current abode. She has traveled more than most people.
On our way to PA and Washington, DC
Baby and I have traveled from Alabama to Houston, Texas; all the way up to Washington DC and Pennsylvania and most places in between. She has been with me through all of the important milestones in a young persons life. She saw me though my parents divorce and all of that fighting, through all of my childhood illness, through living with my aunt and uncle who literally started out every afternoon screaming at one another. She was with me in that horrid little trailer park and when I moved into the first real home I had ever had. She was with me when my Nana died. When I cried she would curl up and lay her head on my hands and sit with me. She saw me through high school graduation and college and marriage.
I was rather obviously a little big bigger here. 2005 I think
Baby did not care if it was my fault, or what my mother thought of me or if we could pay the bills. She just loved me and she loved life and barking at anything that moved too much. I know that some people think it is silly to get too attached to a per, but how could I not. She was with me longer than almost any other person or thing in my life. Yesterday morning I fed all of the animals, and while I hadn’t seen her yet I just assumed she was still sleeping. She was small and could easily blend in with the laundry when she climbed in the baskets to nap. I called for her, shook the food bowl, looked everywhere obvious and then outside. Finally I got my husband up and he found her curled under our bed. She had fallen asleep sometime in the night and will not be going on any more trips I am afraid. After many years of companionship she has passed from this life.
Steven and Baby, after bath
I’m crying as I right this, and I will probably cry for days to come. I think she had been with me so long I had just come to expect her to always be with me. This is a tribute to the best friend I have ever had.