I loved Wolfie before he was born. In the months leading up to my adopting him, I felt a terrible hole in my life. Then one night, while visiting a friend, I heard that their miniature beagle was pregnant. And I suddenly knew exactly what kind of hole I had and how to fill it. Without hesitation, I announced that I would take a male from the litter, and I anxiously awaited his birth. Little Bit, his mother, gave birth to only one puppy, and it was a male, so I knew from the beginning that we were planned for one another. I held him on his second day of life. He fit perfectly in my hand. I marveled at him before handing him back and beginning the 6-week countdown to his becoming fully mine.
When I picked him up at the end of his weaning period, he was a ball of fluff with a little orange paint on him, the spots collected as he rubbed against their house as they were freshening the paint. I took him home, gave him a bath in the kitchen sink, and wrapped him tightly in a towel. Then I held him for an hour, whispering again and again in his ear, "I love you so much. I love you so much." And our wonderful life together began.
|Wolfie at 2 Months|
He was an absolute adventurer. When we lived in Pensacola, we could not utter the word "boat" without him opening the door to the garage and sitting beside the boat in anticipation of a ride. He would wait patiently in the truck as we hitched the boat to the trailer, sometimes waiting as long as an hour. But he would not leave the truck. The boat never hit the water without Wolfie in it, right in the bow, ears flying straight out, tongue flapping, slobber flinging. He was the king of the world. And when he hit the beach, he ran to hunt for crabs or to body surf in the Gulf of Mexico.
He flew on 4 planes. He was fascinated by fireworks and even tried to walk up to a large can of them while they were exploding just to get a better look. He woke up every morning, including his last, excited for his walk. In fact, he lived every day with joy. He did a crazy dance on the carpet almost every day of his life, wriggling and turning onto his back and making snorts. He loved breakfast, supper, and any treat in between. He wanted to be wherever we were at all times, just looking at us. His trademark smile was the light of our lives. His constant companionship saw me through every difficult day, kept me going through my PhD program, and taught me so much about love. He whimpered when I cried and licked my tears away. I loved waking up to find him by my bedside in his later years, asking to be lifted into bed for the last couple of hours of the night. We would snuggle until the alarm woke us. That magnificent creature, in short, made my life wonderful simply by being in it.
|Wolfie's Sweet 16|