When I was 17 years old, I had already graduated highschool, started college, and I was poised to move out of the house. I had always been raised with dogs - big, happy, in love with life labradors - and the prospect of living away from any canines left a weary sort of sadness in my soul. I had owned my very own black lab since I was around 12 - Tidus - but there was no way I was going to move this 80lb beast with me to a tiny studio apartment after he had spent all of his life running wild on my family's farm.
What I REALLY wanted was a little dog. A little dog that was the size of a cat, but didn't make me sneeze and my throat close up the way cats did. But I have zero experience with little dogs - the only ones I had met had been yappy and annoying. So as I do with everything, I started researching. I started reading. I thought Pomeranians and Dachsunds were really cute - Pomeranians because I had seen them in Superman Returns, and Dachsunds just because Dachsunds are just adorable.
I looked into rescues, but as a 17 year old girl on a next to nothing budget there was no way I was going to be able to afford the medical bills all of these dogs needed. That pained me, but I also promised myself I would not buy from a pet shop or a breeder - it would have to be from a family who had bred their dog or nothing.
I started my search in earnest, calling every advertisement for Pomeranians in the newspaper and Thrifty Nickel. My mother was not 100% sold on the idea of her teenage daughter owning a puppy - she continued to insist that I wasn't responsible enough. But I was relentless in my search. I knew exactly what I wanted in my companion - after all, she was going to be with me for at least 15 years. Finally, after months of searching, I called a family that had bred their Pomeranian in order to teach their granddaughter about birth and life. They emailed me two photos - and I was immediately in love.
|The photo that let me know she was the one for me <3|
The next day, my mother and I piled in her car and drove from Idaho to Wyoming (right on the border) to pick up my new fluffy BFF. I wasn't 100% sure if I wanted the girl or the boy of the puppies, but when I opened up the front door, a tiny bolt of peach colored fuzz attacked my legs, trying to crawl up into my lap. The darker, chocolate colored boy puppy hung back and eyed me warily as I scooped up the girl and she attacked my face with her tiny cherry blossom tongue.
It was love at first sight between the two of us. I kept putting down this one pound ball of trembling fluff and she was trying to get back into my grasp as quickly as possible. She was so adorable I kept looking at her and giggling - it was an overwhelming response to what was essentially a real life anime mascot.
Soon enough, money had exchanged hands and the teensy bebe was mine. On the drive back, she stretched her miniscule body in between my thighs and went to sleep. I gazed down upon that creature and I felt a swell of love that I have never experienced before - I'm pretty sure she had awoken my maternal instinct.
|The day she came home with me! Look at that widdle face!|
My mother and I spent hours debating names - I was leaning towards the name Ella or Bella (thank goodness I didn't go with that, because Bella as a name is forever ruined for me by Twilight!). My mother looked over at the small little animal in my lap and said: "She's like a little piece of sushi! You could just eat her!"
And thus, Sushi was named. I brought her home, and the two of us have literally been inseparable since. At the time I was working as a Radio DJ at my local NPR station, and she came with me to work, quietly sleeping at my feet in the On Air booth. She came with me to class and slept in my book bag. She slept (and still sleeps!) curled up underneath my chin every night.
It's been six years today since this amazing little creature entered the world. I cannot even begin to express the love and adoration I have for my dog: she has helped me through some of the most difficult emotional times of my life. When I was all alone and grasping myself through unbearable emotional pain, Sushi was licking the tears away. No matter how miserable my day is, the minute I come home to her excited bouncing and face kisses everything is better. Even through the darkest of times in my life, I knew I was loved and wanted and needed by at least one creature - and for that I honestly owe this dog my life.
People can call me a crazy dog lady but I don't care. There is a place in my soul that would be greatly lacking if I didn't wake up with her fluff pressed to my cheek every morning. I'm getting a tattoo of her face on my foot as soon as I can afford it. I love you, Sushi: happy birthday!
Do you have an intense emotional connection with your pet? I'd love to hear about it!