I dedicate this book to my family, friends, and my pets. Throughout my life it was those mentioned who helped me to look on the bright side of things and remember what truly mattered. I wrote this book to share my little moments and others little moments with the hope that it will aid others to see the little moments worth treasuring in their own lives.
It's the little moments in life that your brain remembers best. Some experts may disagree - they may argue that the memories most vivid in our minds are the worst moments in our lives, trauma. I agree only to disagree with that concept. While we may remember the bad times vividly, it does not mean that all our best moments in life are completely discarded from our memory. In fact, the good moments in our lives may overshadow the dark stains in our past that may threaten to consume who we are personally.
It is important to keep in mind that the little moments in one's life may come in different shapes or forms. It could be the adoption of a puppy, the birth of your first child, a meal with your entire family attending on a cool thanksgiving evening. The emotions that comes from remembering these moments are hard to predict for everyone. What one family member feels may not be the same way another member of the same family feels about the memory.
Life passes us by so fast, sometimes it's hard to stop and smell the daisies in the flower fields. Many of us learn this lesson the hard way, of course. And when you learn the hard way, those little moments turn into a melancholic past. Because of this, many are tempted to make attempts to forget the the little moments. But no matter what, never forget the little moments. It is what will help you get past future trials and tribulations. Little moments give you courage to keep on living, and remind you to pay attention to what matters most.
It was a warm summer day in puerto rico when he was born, in the cool breeze of an air conditioned room of my Grandmother's home. His mother pushed hard but she was struggling, since his butt was coming out first instead of his head. I watched Tequila, my grandmother's tiny 1 year old chihuahua, trying to push the big puppy out of her. It was nerve-wrecking. How a tiny dog could give birth to such a larger than normal chihuahua pup? When my grandmother was forced to intervene, it was smooth sailing. The puppy came out and I squealed in joy. His little brother followed, considerably smaller than he was. I was promised a puppy out of the two that were born as my birthday gift at 15 years old, but at the moment it was hard to decide. I decided to wait a week or two to decide. As I watched them in my visits, there was one I had my eye on in particular. The two puppies were polar opposites. The first born was larger than the other and seemed to have stolen all the fur from his younger brother. His fur was a Red-brownish color, almost like a dark caramel. Out of the two puppies, he was the one who would stumble towards me first after opening his beady little eyes. At three weeks old I decided, I was going to keep him.
When I first brought him home he was the size of the palm of my hand. We separated him from his mother early after birth, so we fed him for another week by hand until he could start eating on his own. At Debating the name was the hardest part, however. He was so cute, cuddly, and furry. We could have named him anything that had to do with fluffy, puffy, etc. Then my mother came up with a wonderful Idea. In the past she had owned a dog named Chappy. The name sounded so different, I loved it. The best part? When we named the puppy Chappy, he responded right away. It was as if he was destined for the name. Whenever we called him he would come, wagging his fluffy tail and smiling at us. In the years to come he would also be known as; fluffy butt, gremlin, grumpy pants, and yappy.
All the names described him for his personality after his puppyhood. Still, the only name he always responded to was Chappy. My little Chappy had a wonderful personality. He defended me fiercely from people who dared to try to steal my attention from him, acted as an alarm system with his sharp bark to alert his other dog siblings of intruders, and listened attentively to me as I told him my woes and worries. He'd stare at me right in the eye as if he actually understood what I'd been saying, and lay by my side silently when I was sad, looking at me with a sympathetic expression.
Some days, I swear that I could hear him talking to me just by the variations of growls, whines, and facial expressions. Chappy was always very expressive, especially when he was upset with me. He loved me, but like any other human being, there were times he'd get annoyed. I'd sometimes do it on purpose to bug him becuase he was so hilariously cute when he'd protest against me.
Chappy loved to play fetch, tag, and hide and go seek. He was like a toddler when playing, barking and making noise. I didn't mind, however, I loved it when he barked, especially when I got home. He would always greet me with his song of special barking. 'Welcome home, momma' is my translation of his song. I would pick him up and hold him close, making strange squeaky noises in return to his barking. He seemed to like that. On the other hand, when he wasn't playing, he'd act like a grumpy old man. No one could disturb him when he slept on my lap, or he would snap at them and nibble on their fingers. Everyone knows all chihuahuas are lapdogs, but some are more like baby kangaroos. Chappy was such a dog. His favorite place to snuggle when he wasn't sleeping on the bed with me was inside of my jacket. Although he had a lot of fur, Virginia was still a very cold place for a tiny chihuahua. Dog clothes sometimes helped, although even then he would still complain. I started to wonder if it was just because he liked to be with me, that he cried for attention. No, I'm certain it was so.
Yes, I know you're thinking it, so i'll just confirm it for you. I definitely did spoil him. When the snowpocalypse happened in north virginia, I made him a snow throne to take a picture of him there. When he wanted a bit of the food from my plate, I'd secretly give him a small bite of it. Winter came, and his nearly permanent place would be inside of my sweater while I did my chores or typed on my computer. He'd even go with me to all the stores, and on a lake trip on a boat. If dogs could have a title, his would be grand explorer. Chappy has gone where no dog has ever gone before without their owners needing special help. Yes, that's right. He's even accompanied us to Cici's pizza, a pizza buffet. That day was the best for him. I'd even managed to give him a piece of my pizza while in the vicinity. He even witnessed when I first learned to drive. There are many things that Chappy and I did together, many wonderful, beautiful memories. He must have met over a hundred people with all the places he's accompanied me to. His pictures were on the internet, and many people also know him as a meme.
It's nostalgic to write about all this, because the same delightful dog I'm writing about now died a year ago, two months before my birthday. It's ironic, because he was given to me in the month of my birthday. I had known Chappy was ill a few months before. Somehow, I just knew he wasn't going to last much longer. I had tried to prepare for it. I took him to more places, snuggled him more, hand fed him when he didn't want to eat to keep him going. I even photographed him a few months before, when he was still healthy. I didn't want to remember him ill.
Then, in the last week of his life, after I took one last picture of him with our other two dogs, his health suddenly took a turn for the worst.
Three days before his death I painted a parrot with him on my lap, and looked him in the eyes. He was calm, peaceful. I had thought he was getting better. My father had made him chicken and chappy didn't vomit it out.
We were rejoicing and for that one day we saw a light in his eyes that hadn't been there for some time since he got ill. His last day of life was havoc. He collapsed as I was about to take him outside. Chappy began to vomit all the water and food that he ate. I tried to replenish it by giving him electrolytes and small amounts of food at a time, and bathed him with warm water to get rid of the smell on his fur. "God, please no!" I'd cry, holding him close. That day I knew, however, that he was going to leave me. I was just in a deep state of denial.
At the emergency room for the vet, I knew only God could save him. I also knew that Chappy was already old, and had been suffering before from joint pain, and his teeth were rotting. Months before, the vet told us an operation to remove his rotting teeth could cost him his life either way. Old dogs at his size usually didn't survive the surgery. So we decided to give him a better quality of life for as long as he could live. Still, it hit me hard. I wanted him to live, but I didn't want him to keep suffering. I prayed to God, with pain in my heart, that if chappy would be able to continue living, but pain free for a very long, that he would heal him. But if it was his time to leave, if even after God healed him he would still die by going through the same amount of suffering for just a little more time, that it would be okay for him to leave my side. Anxiously I waited in the emergency room, until they called me in to see him one last time. He looked at me with sad eyes, but he was calmer than when he had arrived to the vet. I smiled at him shakily and touched the glass barrier that separated me and him. They were attempting to warm his body temperature for it had dropped.
'Do you want to hold him' The nurse asked me. With tears in my eyes, I shook my head no. I wanted him to stay in there to recover. When I look back at that moment I regret it deeply. I should have known better. An hour later the vet claimed that he could run some tests for chappy. My mother had the feeling chappy was near death, but she also wanted to try to save him. After we had agreed to run the tests, a nurse ran in.
'He stopped breathing.' The nurse said. Abruptly, with no respect at all. Here I was with a 1% chance and they tell me my little angel, Chappy had stopped breathing. I nearly fell over and burst out crying, nearly screaming. My mother held me up and hugged me tight. I was unconsolable. The doctor left the room to try to revive him, to no avail. Before his burial that same day, I couldn't bear to hold his corpse. I carried him in the box they had given us at the vet. We dressed him in his favorite sweater and buried him with his favorite toy. Two months passed and I would cry myself to sleep.
Was it my fault he died? Should I have tried to go through with the surgery for his teeth? What could I have done better? Why didn't I hold him when the nurse asked me if I wanted to? Was I a coward for not wanting to face the reality? I blamed myself until I had a peculiar dream. One where chappy had come back to life and I was holding him up in the air, swinging him around with joy in disbelief. All of a sudden In the dream I heard him tell me with a distinct voice, 'It's okay.' I woke up instantly, crying and smiling. It could be hard to believe for most, but for me, at the moment, I honestly believed that God himself sent the message from chappy to me. 'It's okay'.
I wasn't perfect, but I did my best, and he didn't blame me. That's all I needed to know. It answered my questions after his death. It didn't make me feel entirely better, but after that day what happened in the dream comforted me. It wasn't my fault he died. God had answered my prayer. He had given Chappy rest from illness and pain. It hurt that he was gone but if God let him leave it's because he knew it was best. He was always there for me at my best and also at my worst times when I wasn't willing to show others my tears. He encouraged me to keep living in a time of my personal despair of the mind. I always felt that God had sent him to me to keep me going. He sent me my little angel Chappy to tell me everything was going to be okay. And tell me he did, both in his life, and in my dream after he died.
Some blessings in life aren't really noticed until you lose them. We must take special care in appreciating what and whom is always there for us every day. Don't let the bad things in your life drown out the good. Wherever there is despair, there is a person/pet out there that can pull you out of it.