Over the course of Pig's life, there were so many moments that I actually paused and took a mental snapshot of the moment because it was so good. I knew I wanted to remember not only the fun and exciting times with him, but also the normal, the usual and mundane. And I'm so happy that I was aware enough to pause and memorize.
On the day that I went to pick out my new best friend, I drove the 40 minute trek with my mind set on picking up a little girl. There was a litter of about 5-6 toy poodles and all but one were boys. I was so glad to have found my girl that I had been looking for for months. Once we arrived to the breeder, I sat on the floor and scooped up my girl. She was white, fluffy and after a few minutes, she drove me nuts with her neediness. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him. Ever so slightly, I saw something move in the distance and there he was, in all his tiny glory. My pig was playing all by himself, completely unimpressed by me and in that moment I just knew. He was the one. The rest was history.
I can still remember clear as day one regular ole Saturday afternoon, Piggy and I laying on the couch mid-afternoon as the sun shone through the windows and a breeze rolled in through the curtains. Pig was sound asleep on my chest and it was so calm and so peaceful that I memorized how he felt on me and how still the moment was. I didn't need anything else in the world in that moment but him. I felt a level of contentment that I had never felt before.
One of the funniest times with Pig actually happened in a shoe store on King Street in Charleston where I worked my first year out of college. Pig was tiny, maybe just a few months old, and I had an awesome boss who encouraged me to bring him in to work as the "shop dog". Our shop had just expanded, creating a giant circle walkway between two rooms. With a mother and daughter shopping for shoes, something caused Piggy to take notice of and approach the teen girl. And although he probably weighed no more than 3lbs, the said teen who was afraid of dogs, took off running from him in a giant circle between the two sides of the shop. Off she went screaming, with a tiny, harmless toy poodle playfully barking and chasing her heels. It was a hysterical game of cat and mouse. The girl thought Piggy was trying to attack and Piggy thought she was playing with him, both oblivious to the fact that me, my manager and the girl's mom were all trying to get one of them to stop running so we could end the racing fiasco. I can still remember laughing so hard that I feared I might pee my pants on the job, while yelling "He's not trying to bite you! He thinks you're playing with him. You have to stop running so we can catch him!! STTTTOOOOPPPPPP Ruuuunnniiinnngggg!" It was priceless. Needless to say they did not purchase any shoes that afternoon, but Pig thought it was the best day ever on the job.
A few smaller memories simply revolve around heading to the airport for vacations and not 30 minutes into the drive, I'd turn to Tim and confess that I "already missed Pig." Even though we hadn't left yet, I missed him. We'd still be less than 60 miles from home and I'd be excited for our return when I could see him again. I always loved seeing him after being away.
Another snapshot in time was taking Piggy sledding over the last two winters. This dog loved to sled down the driveway. He'd hop right in and onto my lap, the Hubs would give us a big push, and down the drive we'd go. Once we reached the bottom, he'd hop out and race me to the top with his ears flapping in the wind. The minute I'd sit back down, he'd hop right back in for another ride. Silly, Pig.
While 8 weeks pregnant, I came down with the flu and was bedridden for almost a week straight while unable to take anything to gain relief. Pig never left my side. He was like a warm, little blanket and I remember looking over at him and being so very thankful for his companionship that week while I was in quarantine and alone.
As cheesy as the next snapshot is and at the risk of sounding like a crazy dog lady, this memory came about on another random afternoon about a year and a half ago. I was working around the house when Brad Paisley's song Then came on. As I sang along with the first few lines of the song, I remember looking down at Pig as happy, grateful tears ran down my face. I put down the towels I was putting away, got down on the floor and sang the rest of the song to him. To this day, it still is "our" song. I even changed some of the words whenever I'd sing it to him to incorporate his name...
"And now you're my whole life
Now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you, Pig.
Like a river meets the sea,
Stronger than it's ever been.
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved Pig then"
Lastly, on Pig's last morning, I knew he hadn't touched his food in 24 hours and I didn't want him to starve if they'd keep him in the hospital all day. Being the good momma I tried to be, I asked the Hubs to whip up a quick egg for our sweet boy so that he'd have a full tummy for whatever lay ahead of him. So on his last morning at home, he had his very own egg all to himself, cooked just for him with love from his dad, and he got to eat it off of his own "real boy" plate. I know he had to feel super special in that moment. Hubs, thanks for not questioning if you had time to cook an egg for our dog as you tried to get yourself ready for work. It means so much to me and I know it made our little man feel like a king. Without truly knowing, we gave our boy a warm, tasty and deserving send off. Thank you.
Piggy, thanks for these memories and so, so many more. We love you so.