Thursday, July 16, 2009
Our family and how we came to be
It all started six years ago when I met my wonderful boyfriend and companion Steve. After dating for about six months, we decided that I and my cat Phoebe would give up my apartment and move in with him and his dog Ninook, who was a Siberian Husky. So Phoebe and I packed up my apartment in Fall River and made the move over to Providence in the Federal Hill section. It took awhile for Phoebe to get used to Ninook, as she had never been around dogs of any kind before, but before long, all four of us were settled in and adjusting well to living with each other.
About three years ago, Ninook (who was about 16 years in age at the time), started going downhill healthwise. Steve took her to the vets, where they told him that, because of her age, her body was starting to fail and shut down. Steve made the very difficult decision to put his girl down. It was heartbreaking to see him have to do this, after being with her ever since she was a little baby, but in the end, he knew that it was the best thing for her. He had her cremated and her remains are now with him forever.
AND THEN THERE WAS CHEWY
So that just left us two and Phoebe. It was just us three for two years, before Steve felt that he was ready to get another dog. He had always wanted to get a Chihuahua, and I felt that it was best for us to get a small dog, as the apartment we live in does not have a backyard, and a smaller dog would be better suited to apartment living. One night (February 23, 2008), while browsing online, he came across an ad for a Chi. He called the number and asked for a picture. The little boy was a cutie, but was not the one for Steve, he really had his heart set on a Chocolate Chi. After browsing a little more, he came across another ad. He contacted Jenn, the breeder, and was told that she had several available and emailed him pictures. The instant Steve saw this picture, he fell in love and said "that's the one for us!" We made plans to meet with Jenn the next day, Sunday. That Sunday, Jenn had plans during the day and would call us when she got home. We got her call about 4:00 in the afternoon. She told us that another couple were on their way down to to look at the litter and they had expressed interest in the pup we wanted. So we dropped what we were doing, jumped into the car, and drove like maniacs to get to Jenn's before the other couple did.....and made it! The instant both of us saw this little pup in person, we knew that he would be ours forever.
We left Jenn's with our little Chocolate baby tucked safely inside of my leather jacket and realized that we did not have any supplies for a puppy!! It was late Sunday afternoon, around 5:15 (all stores close at 6:00) and the nearest Petco was about a 20 minute drive away. So.....another crazy ride down the highway trying to get to Petco before it closed and we got there just in time. Then on to home to introduce our baby to our home. At this point in time, Steve still had not chosen a name for him.
I can still remember that first night with our little peanut head. I was laying on the couch and he was curled up underneath my chin sweet as can be. We had first discussed keeping him in my cat's carrier (it was a big carrier and he was such a little thing!). So Steve put his little bed in it with some toys. I had gone to bed first, so the little one was still up with his father. Later on in the night, I felt Steve climb into bed with me with the little one. He said he had put him in there, but he cried so much that it tugged at Steve's heart and he had to take him to bed with him. So needless to say, he will never be crate trained and will spend his life sleeping in bed with us!
The next day I came home from work to find that the pup had been named....Chewy! No, it's not short for Chewbacca, haha! Steve said it just popped into his head and that was it! Phoebe didn't take to Chewy at first, then after she got used to him, she pretty much kept her distance from him. Phoebe was around 10 years old at the time, and with Chewy being so young and rambunctious, he always wanted to play with her and constantly kept chasing her around, never giving her a moments peace unless she hid under our bed!
At the end of May, on a Saturday, we had gotten up and noticed that we could not find Phoebe anywhere. We finally found her hiding in a spot that she never goes, crouching there and not looking right at all. I knew instantly that something was wrong with her. A phone call to the vets and after an appointment on Monday, the vet said that something was going on with her mouth and that she was very dehydrated. Phoebe needed to go back the next day so that they could partially sedate her so the vet could look in her mouth. I got the devastating news at work later on that morning.....Phoebe had a cancerous tumor in her mouth and that it was so far gone that really nothing could be done for her. I'll never forget that moment for as long as I live. I knew I had to make the decision to put my baby down for her final rest, I couldn't let her suffer anymore. That afternoon, when Steve came home from work, the three of us (Steve took Chewy so he could say goodbye to his sister) made the ride to the vet, where we could say our final goodbyes to Phoebe. 10 years was a short life for her, but she lived a good one with me and she will always be in my heart.
AND THEN THERE WAS LILIBELL
After Phoebe's passing, Steve said that we could get another pet, and he left it to me as to whether I wanted to get a cat or another dog. Well, after Chewy, of course I had to get another Chi!! I contacted Jenn to see if she had any little girls available. Jenn said she had two mothers who were pregnant and would let me know when they had their babies. After about one month, I contacted her again to get an update on the litters. Jenn said that there were no babies yet, but said she had another girl that was available and sent me the picture. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew instantly in my heart that that was my little girl. So we made plans for Steve and I to go see her. I think Steve was at first reluctant to get another dog, but when he held this little girl and she licked his nose, he fell in love right then and there. We had to wait about a month until she was old enough to come home to us. But in the meantime, I already had a name for her - Lilibell. It just popped in my head one day and I knew that it would be a perfect name for her!
I was at first very nervous as to how Chewy would react to another pet in the house, as he had been the one and only pet for 2 1/2 months now. But I knew he needed a sister to hang around with. If I left for work last in the morning, I would walk down the street and see him in the window, barking for me not to leave him there, I just felt so bad! We were originally schedule to bring Lilibell home on August 8 (Friday), but we had started our living room renovations two weeks before and were working feverishly to get it ready by then. Then Steve decided that we should put new flooring in, so that pushed back our deadline. I told Jenn that we would get her on that Saturday. Saturday came, and the house was still a mess, not something to bring a new puppy home to! We worked our fingers to the bone all day to get the house cleaned and straightened out so that Lilibell could come home on Sunday.
Sunday came and I woke up so excited, and also nervous! I made the trip to Fall River and picked up my little Princess. Once we got home, Chewy was sitting with Steve and I put Lilibell's carrier down beside him and unzipped it. Chewy looked in, and started growling a bit. Steve then picked up Lilibell and had Chewy sniff her all over. After that, Chewy and Lilibell ended up being the best brother and sister and best friends. That night, when we went to bed, we knew that she would be sleeping with us also. Since she was so small, much smaller than Chewy, we were afraid of rolling onto her while we were sleeping (well, I wasn't afraid that I would do it, I was afraid that Steve would!!). So her pink bed went in between us and that's where she slept!
And that is the story of Nadine and Steve, plus 2!