My Little Girl
I’ve had a pretty good life. I really can’t complain. It’s just a little sad to reflect back on everything when you get old. I didn’t even know I was old until someone told me. This would have been a lot easier if I had kept a diary, but I’ll do the best I can from memory.
I never even met my father. I have no idea what the deal was between him and my mother. She never talked about it. I had seven brothers and sisters! There were the usual family squabbles, especially at mealtime, and there was some rough play, but for the most part it was all good.
I will never forget the look on my mother’s face when we parted. I didn’t even say goodbye. I didn’t have a clue as to what was happening, but she knew. That was the last time I saw her. I’m glad I didn’t know.
We were all put in a big box, placed in the back of a car and taken for a long ride. I was in a good spot, right next to a window, so I could see all the cars and trucks passing by. A little girl was sitting in the back seat of one car, and she looked right at me! She smiled, and I could see she was missing her two front teeth. It was the cutest thing!
We went to a place called a “Fair” where the man set the box on a big table, and people would walk by and look at us. Once in awhile someone would stop at the table, talk to the man and woman, give them some money and walk off with one of us. One by one, my brothers and sisters disappeared until I was the only one left in the box. It was sad to see them go, but they seemed happy, so I guess I was ok with it. I didn’t like being there all alone, and I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me.
Now this is a really good part. A man and a woman were walking by with a little girl. She was tucked in between them with each of them holding one of her hands. They were almost past the table, and I don’t know what got into me, but I barked. It was more like a yelp, but it was loud! Well, the little girl turned and looked at me, and guess what. She smiled, and she was missing her two front teeth! It was the same little girl!
She practically dragged her Mom and Dad over to the table and said the sweetest things about me.
“Look how cute he is! Can we please take him home?”
Now you can imagine what that did for my ego. Take me home? I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I knew I wanted to be with that little girl. The Dad was resisting, and this will sound bad, but I would have bitten him right then and there if I could have. They huddled together for what seemed like forever. Talk about drama. I would either go home with that little girl or be left behind alone in that box.
Jackpot! The Dad caved. In a minute I was in the little girl’s arms! She held me close and hugged me while the Mom kept petting me on the head. The Dad didn’t look all that happy, but I figured I’d grow on him.
The first day at my new home was so special. The little girl took me out to the back yard, and you should have seen me run! I would chase the little girl, and then she would chase me. I could have run all day. I really could have. The best part came after all that running. She sat down on the grass and held me in her arms. I was on my back with her cradling me and rubbing my tummy. It doesn’t get any better than that.
My first night there was a little rough. I heard the Dad say that I would have to sleep in the kitchen until I was “housebroken”. Then he put a ticking clock in my little bed. That made no sense to me as I couldn’t even tell time, and the darn ticking kept me up all night. Later I heard the dad say the clock was supposed to keep me company so I wouldn’t feel alone and scared. I thought it was pretty dumb.
I didn’t know what “housebroken” meant, but I found out in a hurry. I pooped on the living room rug, and then the Dad came into the room and stepped in the poop. And he was barefoot! He started hopping around on one foot and yelling words I never heard before. It was the funniest thing I ever saw.
But he didn’t think it was so funny. He took me over to the poop and stuck my nose in it! Now I don’t care even if it is your own poop, you don’t want your nose stuck in it. Then he swatted me on the butt with a rolled up newspaper. It didn’t hurt, but it sure scared the bejesus out of me. Then he took me outside.
Well, I totally misunderstood. I thought that if I wanted to go outside, I just needed to poop on that rug. That wasn’t it at all. After a few more encounters my butt had with rolled up newspaper, it sunk in. I looked at it as a learning experience. I learned to poop outdoors, and the Dad learned not to go barefoot.
After I was “housebroken”, I got to sleep in bed with the little girl, my little girl! I can’t even tell you how wonderful that was. She would pet me for awhile, and I would snuggle up next to her. It was so nice I didn’t even want to fall asleep.
One day the Dad came outside with a ball and said, “Let’s teach him to fetch.” Fetch? I had just learned to be housebroken, and I thought it was too soon to be trying to teach me something else, but I thought I’d hear him out. Well, this is what it was. He threw the ball and yelled “Fetch!” He clarified that with, “Go get it boy!” That didn’t make any sense to me. I thought, “Go get it yourself. You threw it. You go get it.” He finally got frustrated and went in the house, but it gave him a pretty good workout.
Here's something I did like to do. Sometimes the Dad would throw a ball at my little girl, and she would try to defend herself with this big stick. Sometimes she would hit the ball, and the Dad would go chasing after it. Most of the time, I would get to the ball first. I’d grab it and run like the wind with the Dad chasing me. My little girl would laugh so hard! I wish you could have seen it.
I loved that little girl. I loved the Dad and the Mom too, and I loved living there. If my little girl wasn’t around, there were always things to do. There were squirrels to bark at or chase, but to be honest, I never wanted to catch one. The darn things scared me. We had a few chickens in the yard, and don’t laugh, but I kind of liked hanging out with them. If nothing was going on, I could always find a nice place in the sun and take a little nap, or maybe just watch the birds at one of the feeders.
And how my little girl loved me! We would go on long walks together or play in the yard. She would brush my hair every day and give me a nice warm bath every week. I didn’t really like the baths, but I acted like I did so that I wouldn’t disappoint her. And then every night I would snuggle up next to her and fall asleep. It was the best of times.
And then something called “school” happened. My little girl was gone all day long! I was so sad. Every day I’d lie on the back of the sofa looking out the window waiting for my little girl to come home. She seemed to like school, but I sure didn’t.
I have to tell you about another really dumb thing the Dad did. One day in the winter, he set me outside to go “do my business”. We just got a foot of snow, and I’m only 11” tall. Do you see the problem with that? I sure did.
It was no fun “doing my business” outside in the winter, so I got to be really fast at it. The Dad didn’t like it so much because I would poop on the sidewalk right outside the door. I don’t know why he was upset. He should try pooping outside in the freezing cold sometime. I bet he wouldn’t trot on over to the far side of the yard to “do his business”.
Once I saw the Dad put a basket behind the sofa. After everyone was in bed, I checked it out. The basket was full of candy! I chomped the ears off the chocolate bunnies, but I could only down a few jellybeans because they stuck in my teeth. I couldn’t get myself to eat any of those “Peeps” because of my relationship with the chickens. My little girl was so mad at me! But then the Dad said he found some more candy that the Easter Bunny must have dropped on his way out of the house. Now I’ve seen a lot of bunnies in my life, but I’ve never seen one lugging bags of candy around. It was puzzling.
One morning I heard my little girl say that would be her last day of school! All the wonderful things we did that first summer, we were doing again, the walks, running in circles around the yard, me taking off with a ball with the Dad in hot pursuit. I was so happy. Sometimes I would think of the very first time I saw her, the missing front teeth and her smile through the car window. It warms my heart just thinking about it.
There was one bad thing that happened that summer. It’s spelled C-A-T. I was lying on the back of the sofa watching the Mom and my little girl come home. Guess what my little girl was holding. A cat!
The cat was worthless. He would just lie around all day doing nothing, but my little girl fawned all over the stupid thing. The cat even got to poop in the house in a little sandbox! I didn’t get a sandbox, much less get to poop in the house. I was so upset. I’d watch them together and think, what am I, chopped liver?
One day I almost bought the farm! I liked chasing cars in our driveway, and I got too close once. BAM! The tire caught my hind leg. That hurt like a momma! They took me to the dog hospital, and I had surgery! I even spent the night in the hospital. That was pretty cool, but I missed my little girl. The worst part? When I got home, the cat was smiling. That really burned me. I thought I had special powers when the stupid cat disappeared a week later.
I suppose I should say something about why I’m telling you all this. My neighbor, some kind of lab-shepherd-poodle mix (the guy is a real mess) said I was old! I shot right back and told him he was ugly. Apparently, dogs don’t live forever, so I thought I’d share these memories just in case anyone was interested.
My little girl got bigger on me, and she was doing more and more things with her friends. I know that made her happy, but it made me a little sad. Sometimes she would even spend the night at a friend’s house, and I could hardly sleep all alone in her bed. I felt like I did when I was the last one left in that box at the “Fair”.
Then I found out there is something much worse than school- college. This is so sad I can hardly tell you about it. The little girl I had seen in the car that day, the one who talked her Dad into bringing me home, the one who sat on the grass that day, holding me and rubbing my tummy, was all grown up, and went off to college. I’m not even sure what college is, but I hate it.
One night I saw the little girl packing up clothes and some other stuff. The Mom was helping her, and she looked kind of sad. The next day my little girl hugged me as hard as she did that very first day, and left with the Mom and Dad. They came home that night without my little girl. The Mom went right to my little girl’s room, sat down on her bed, and cried. I knew it wasn’t good.
It was the worst thing that ever happened to me, worse than getting run over by the car. I was mad at her. How could she just take off and leave me? I never would have left her. Why didn’t she take me with her? I bet I could have done good at college.
I missed my little girl so much. I was so upset I couldn’t even bark at the squirrels. Then one night I heard the Dad say she would be coming home the next day for Thanksgiving! I was so excited! The Mom and Dad picked her up at college, and I cried when I saw the car headlights come up the driveway. As soon as my little girl got out of the car she picked me up and gave me a big hug. I was so happy!
They all sat at the table, talked a lot, and had supper. I just sat there patiently waiting for her to get back to me. But then she said she had to go meet some friends she hadn’t seen for a long time, and she left. Hadn’t seen for a long time? She hadn’t seen me for what seemed like forever. I didn’t know what to think. I just crawled up to the top of the sofa and cried as I watched the taillights on the car go down the driveway.
She was only home for a few days. It was nice, but it was kind of weird at the same time. She really hurt my feelings. We didn’t do anything. We didn’t run in the yard. I didn’t chase the ball. We didn’t jump in any piles of leaves. I just couldn’t be my same jovial self. I tried, but I couldn’t.
I haven’t been feeling too good lately. I’ve had this ache in my tummy that just won’t go away. My hip has been hurting, and this is pretty embarrassing, but I’ve been pooping and peeing in the house once in awhile. I just can’t seem to help it. I thought the Mom and Dad would be mad at me, but they’re not. Instead, they feel sorry for me. They took me to the dog doctor a few times, then to that dog hospital. They’ve been giving me some medicine, and if that doesn’t work, I guess they are going to try something called “putting me down”. That didn’t make any sense to me because no one was holding me, so I don’t know how they could be putting me down. But I guess they know best.
My little girl has been gone for a long time again. She came home at Christmas, and we did some things together, but it wasn’t the same. We didn’t even go sledding. I don’t understand why things have to be so different. I don’t think I did anything wrong. I mean it’s not like she’s mad at me or anything like that. She just doesn’t seem to be as excited about having me around. I feel pretty bad about that.
Everything was so good, so much fun, when she was little. Even when she started going to school things were good. College ruined everything. She’s gone so much, and when she’s home, she’s… different.
Sitting at home alone all day can get pretty boring. I can only sit by the window looking at squirrels for so long. It gets so bad sometimes that I almost wish that stupid cat would show up.
But wait! I just got some good news. In a couple of weeks, my little girl will be coming home for the whole summer. The whole summer! I think with her being home for such a long time, things will get back to normal. I bet we’ll be running around the yard again. I’ll chase her, and she’ll chase me. Then we’ll sit in the warm sun. I’ll lie on my back in her arms, and she’ll rub my tummy. Everything will be just like it was that very first day!
I have to go now. The Mom and Dad are taking me to the dog doctor again. I don’t know why, but they both look so sad. I think the Mom was even crying. I’ll try to cheer them up later.
I’ll start writing the next Chapter as soon as I get back. I’m going to write down all the fun things I plan to do with my little girl this summer! I am so happy!