the picture that changed my life.
One year ago today, I was sitting at work on a typical Friday. I wasn't overloaded with work, just plodding along as usual, eager for a lazy weekend to myself, blindly unaware of how meaningful the day would end up being.
After lunch, my phone lit up with a text message from my Aunt, which would lead to a phone call that would brighten my life in an unimaginable way. A friend of my aunt's was basically fostering an adorable puppy who resembled Maizie so uncannily... and I'd been yearning for a "friend for Maizie."
Long story short, my series of text messages led to a drive across town after work to somewhat-impulsively welcome the spunkiest of yorkipoo puppies into my world.
When I walked in, he gave me the best show. He pounced on the rest of Dana's dogs, yapping authoritatively in a staccato, high pitch, proving his status as top dog.
My heart melted, he was mine. I knew he was mine. This mess of fur with the hugest of brown eyes that took in every detail of the world was meant to be mine. As I drove home to bring him to his big sister, he climbed all over me, curious to soak up every square inch of my car. Last week, I wore the sweater I was wearing when I brought Milo home, and cried when I remembered how the couple of slight snags originated with his tiny claws during our first half hour together.
And for the next eight-and-a-half months, he was one of the brightest spots of my life. He had the purest puppy heart, affectionate before anything else. I'd wake up to him breathing in my face, nose-to-nose, just waiting for me to wake up. His favorite spot to sleep was on my pillow, body curled around the top of my head.
His tiny nublet tail would quiver once he realized I was awake, his wiry fur was one of the softest things I've ever touched, still.
His mornings were spent scrounging the front yard, leaving no leaf unturned, no blade of grass unsniffed... followed by hovering over the food bowl until every morsel was devoured.
One of his favorites places to perch was right in front of an open living room window--he watched me drive away to work every single morning.
Looking back, remembering his little frizzy silhouette in front of the window makes me slightly more at peace, sensing he wasn't made to stay on this planet for too long... he brought a ridiculous amount of love, zest and puppy perfection for the short time he was with me.
Watching him and Maizie frolic throughout my home was one of the most entertaining aspects of my every day, always leading me to look up from whatever I was preoccupied with, or crawling on my hands and knees to get to their level.
He definitely loved car rides--he would climb as high as he could, back legs on my thigh, front feet as far out on the window ledge as he stake them and be stable, nose in the wind, blasting through his fuzzy face.
He was all boy, all puppy--I know I say that a lot. But he was the portrait of loyalty, of sweetness, of curiosity, of every reason people fall in love with dogs.
Of all the elements of which I was eager to get to Nashville, I was overwhelmingly excited to share a new stage of life with both of my babies. His absence is consistently a huge void in my day-to-day life.
I miss him everyday, still. His green-and-blue striped collar rests atop his tiny, green striped polo on my nightstand, his heart-shaped face still plastered on my phone screen.
Some days, I still can't believe he's gone and I am overtaken with sadness despite the fact that he left us four months ago. Yesterday at my work event, a couple who had come to Nashville for our Family Weekend events had a small, fluffy pup on a leash. I introduced myself and stroked the little nugget for a minute before they told me his name was Milo. My Milo is still all around me, and I am assured he always will be.
I'll have more puppies in this lifetime--and y'all know how much I adore Maizie. Dogs really are family, and my stepmom and I talk often about how we're not even "normal dog people." I dare say a little piece of me died right along with my precious Milo, and as much as my life was forever changed on October 15, 2011, a huge part of it was shattered on May 29, 2012.
I miss you everyday, my sweet boy. I can't wait to cradle you again... and I thank God for bringing you--and all of your character, charm and sweetness--into my life.