When Captain Awesome was a little boy, he began wishing for a puppy for his approaching birthday. And so, a quest began for his new companion. The word went out near and far. Family and friends provided suggestions and recommendations. However, it was a mere acquaintance that mentioned their lady dog was expecting a litter of pups and one could be his for the choosing. A few weeks went by with no word of puppies being birthed, and in those same few weeks, a little boy's birthday was drawing nigh. We were pushed to move forward on the mission. Kennels were visited, newspapers were scoured and phone calls were made. A puppy was ready and waiting just a few hours drive north. So, we packed into the Jeep and made the trek upward until we reached a quaint and well manicured home. On the front lawn, we saw a lady trying to corral some black and white fluff, which was hopping over blades of grass like a bunny. His nickname was "Cow" and he was a purebred Shih Tzu. It was love at first sight for sure. He whined all the way home. After a few days deliberation, he was officially named "Maximum Rocket Power".
Captain Awesome's birthday came and went. It was a perfect and wonderful celebration of a little boy and his companion. However, two days later, the phone rang. It was the previously mentioned acquaintance with exciting news. Their litter of puppies had just been welcomed into this world two days earlier. Yes, you were born on Captain Awesome's birthday. And so, we knew it was meant to be. There would be two puppies welcomed into our home that year.
When you were around seven weeks old, we drove a couple hours south, across the river and through the woods to a home of meager existence. We were warmly welcomed inside. Captain Awesome leaned over to take a peek and your mama nearly snapped his nose off. I'm sure she meant nothing against him. She just knew that you were very special and wanted nothing but the best for you. Her master reached in and pulled you out for us to see. There you were, all teeny tiny and in your black and white beauty ~ a Shih Tzu mix. Again, it was love at first sight. We brought you home, stuck you in the sink ~ submerged in water up to your neck, and caught ~ oh, at least 100+ ~ probably more ~ fleas off of the top of your head.
Unlike Max, however, you were not a companion of anyone in particular, but please don't fret because you were most definitely loved by us all. And unlike Max, a name was never officially provided. We simply called you Baby Girl and it just stuck. I was particularly pleased with this, because I had always longed for a baby girl, but never thought that I would actually have one. But there you were ~ a part of the sisterhood ~ helping me balance out the fraternity house.
A couple other puppies came in over the years. Cheetah appeared to be a brindle greyhound, boxer, min-pin mix ~ but who really knows for sure, and that isn't really what matters anyway. She was an amazing soccer player. She also loved cowboy boots ~ not wearing them, but chewing them. Then, of course, came Rocky ~ Scout's beloved birthday puppy ~ a Yorkshire Terrier. He was much more teeny tiny than you. All of you got along fabulously. But it was you and Max who were tight. Whether it was bunking together, chasing each other or challenging the other for a scooby treat, whenever we saw black and white, we were usually seeing double. Remember when he had surgery just two weeks ago? You whined and fussed until he came home. And when he did, you were there, right beside him. Not once did you make fun of him for wearing that ridiculous looking cone around his head. Now, the tables have turned and Max is intensely longing for you.
Just a few years ago, as you know, I did have that baby girl ~ adding to the sisterhood once again. And, to my delight, you two have become precious playmates. I would even say that she has claimed you as her own. A good indicator, is her renaming of you ~ "My Baby Max". Additional indicators: How many walks has she taken you on? Lots. How many times has she climbed into the kennel with you? Numerous. How many times has she squeezed you until you could just pop? A quintillion. And what about those scooby treats, she has always been good at making sure you had plenty of those.
Through these 7 (almost 8) years, Baby Girl, you have loved me unconditionally, that is for certain. And no matter the week, the day or the hour, I could count on your smiling face, the nuzzle of your little nose, the beat of your wagging tail. How absolutely sweet and devoted you have been. Oh, how I will miss you. And I will miss the pieces of my children and of myself that are embodied within you. To never hear their voices say sweetly to you, "Hey, Baby Girl", saddens me greatly.
As I write this and as I prepare for our visit tomorrow, I know that when I walk into the Veterinarian's office, even though you are very sick, you will smile through your eyes at me. And I am certain that your long, white tail will begin its swaying motion. That is just your beautiful spirit. And as your spirit softly escapes into another realm, I promise to be there. It is the very least that I can do for my beautiful Baby Girl.