When we first got married, Todd did the rational thing to buy some time and push back the baby lust I was having. He got me a puppy. At the time we were clueless about pet stores and puppy mills and we wandered into a cute little independent pet store to look at the kittens. We saw a cage and upon first glance thought it was full of guinea pigs, but turns out they were tiny puppies. Peek-a-poos.
I held one and looked hopefully at Todd, not truly expecting a puppy that day, but we were newlyweds and he was in love and he was pretty wrapped. Then I handed her over to him, and she nuzzled his cheek and licked him. We walked out with a little white puff of a thing, I think she was two pounds. I named her Josie.
She was my baby. I loved her and I spoiled her.
When Riley was born, Josie lost some of her charm. Because I had spoiled her, she was very demanding. She didn’t give a rip that a baby had come on the scene. She didn’t bark, she screeched. REEEEEEEEET! REEEEEEEET! She’d look at you and sneeze her displeasure….all day long. She was a brat. But it was my fault, and I loved her, and life went on.
We moved to the Chicago area. Then we moved to Maryland. And she kept up her screeching.
And then Riley started having a really hard time.
And then we had a new baby.
Riley was screaming. Josie was screeching. The baby required what newborns require.
That dog. Every time I looked at her, she reminded me of how much of a failure I was. I could not keep all the balls in the air. Our family was in crises. I could not give everyone what they needed, least of all a 7 pound Peek-a-poo. There were some days she barely got a pat on the head. But she was part of the family. I couldn’t just give her away.
And then Todd’s dad told us about a woman he worked with, who was about to retire. She was looking for a little lap dog to spoil. And I could not not do it. We gave her away. We gave her to Roseanne.
I cried in the car on the way to her house. I cried in the car on the way home. I felt like a failure. A loser. A person who didn’t deserve a dog. But I knew I did the right thing. I knew she would have a good life. I doubted we’d ever have a dog again.
She was seven when we gave her to Roseanne. She made her transition to doggie heaven on Saturday, a few months shy of her 15th birthday.
I am so grateful to Roseanne and her family. My heart could rest easy all these years, knowing Josie was continuing what she came to this earth to do, be spoiled, and be loved.
Rest in peace Josephine, Dustmop, Peek-a-knees, Reeeeta.
We really did love you.