You know how some days are just more special than others? I know that in the scheme of things, particularly if you get literal and think time wise or calendar wise, every day is the same as any other. Yet there’s some event, some activity, some holiday, or some memory that makes an individual day just a bit more special than it’s counterparts that came before or will come after.
Today is one of those days … one of those SPECIAL days. It may just be special to me, however that is okay. I’m still gonna tell you why today … Thursday … April 1, 2010 … is a day that means more to me than yesterday.
Granted, anyone who knows me understands that Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. Especially right now when we are being treated to new episodes of Supernatural and each one just keeps getting a little better than the one before it, drawing us ever closer to an apocalyptic season ending that has fans like me on the very edge of their couches watching with bated breath and anticipation.
Sorry. Started to get a bit carried away there. *sheepish grin*
This is not about Supernatural … although … there is a slight, teensy weensy correlation. But I’ll explain that later.
Nope. Today is special to me for another reason. And it’s also not because it’s April 1st, aka. April Fools Day.
April Fools is the day each year when people, young and old, seem to delight in pulling pranks and jokes. I’ll be honest. I’m not a good prankster and I usually screw up the telling of a joke unless I’m reading it. In all my years I have pulled off one prank. Granted, I had an abundance of help and it was seamless and flawless, grabbing its intended victim and leaving her definitely fooled. But then, and here’s why I’m really not a good prankster, I went the next full week totally feeling guilty and trying every which way I could to make it up to my victim. She was a wonderful sport, delighting in April Fools pranks herself, but I was a guilt-ridden basket case.
So, no … April Fools is not the reason this particular Thursday is special to me.
Today is special because today is the birthday of someone who has been in my life less than a year and yet he has completely filled it with joy and laughter, a bit of confusion, panic, and frustration as well, but mostly an overwhelming sense of love.
Today my Chester … aka. Ball of Fluff … aka. Fluffernut … aka. Sir Bounds-A-Lot … aka. Fierce Guard Dog … celebrates his first birthday!
Weighing in at 8lbs 10oz, my little guy has survived his first year. And so have I.
I didn’t get to be there when Chester was born, nor when he was weaned. My guy was three months old when I discovered him through an online “Puppy Finder” a friend suggested I check out. He wasn’t the closest Maltese puppy for sale, nor was he the youngest, or even the least expensive. There was just something about the picture they posted, something about his little face – his expressive little face – that grabbed my heart and said, “Hey! I’m your guy. I need you to come and get me.”
I’d wanted to get a dog for several years. I wanted a companion, someone to be there when I came home … to go with me when I went out. I’d resisted for several reasons, not the least of which being my sometimes long work hours. About three years ago, the desire increased to the point that I began to research dog breeds … considering size, typical health, “yappiness”, etc. After reading all I could find, I determined that the Maltese was the breed for me. Small, friendly, typically good health and long life, not prone to continual yapping, owner protective, and … to the delight of my allergy inclined lungs/eyes/nose … due to the fact that the Maltese actually have a fine “hair” instead of fur thus not having the pet dander that make allergies so fun, nor the shedding factor. Sweet!
Once I had the breed determined, it was simply a matter of timing and funding. I actually had decided on two pups … a boy and a girl … to keep each other company while I was not at home. That was my plan, right down to the fact that I already had their names chosen – Winnie for the girl and Chester for the boy. (Get it? Winnie … Chester … Winchester for my favorite guys on my favorite show, Supernatural. See … told you there was a slight connection. *grins*)
Much like everything else I tend to find … from chocolate to shoes … after determining what I liked and wanted, then getting myself settled into the idea, I found that my chosen breed does not come cheap. Nope. The Maltese is not your bargain basement pup. They’re not even on the first or second floor. *sigh* Even though I had absolutely no desire to “show” the dog or breed them myself, and I had no inclination to deal with the long hair … choosing to allow my pup full range and keep him in a “puppy cut” … I still found the expense of purchasing was out of my league.
And before the idea is put out there … I DID check into shelters. Maltese pups are not exactly shelter pups either.
Then came an unexpected and delightful financial gift at the same time my friend suggested the online puppy find where I saw the face that captured my heart. After corresponding with she whom I shall call “the seller”, it was determined that I would meet her just south of Norman to “meet” the pup. When she handed me this little white ball and he snuggled right up over my heart, nestling his face at my neck and licking my ear, my heart was lost. I handed her the check and left with my Chester.
I’ve never regretted the decision for a moment.
We’ve had some issues, not the least of which is discovering that “the seller” was less than truthful in a few areas such as crate training, & health records. It has been determined that my guy had some major … M.A.J.O.R. … issues with being in a crate. His fear of it was insurmountable and we finally gave up. It just wasn’t worth it. Luckily, he is one of the good ones as it became increasingly obvious that Chester spends his day, while I am at work, on the back of the couch, most likely sleeping. Nothing is ever disturbed and his water dish doesn’t even appear to have been used while I am gone. Yet the blanket on the back of the couch has a deep indent where it is obvious a small body has been nestled.
We were also incredibly blessed to happen upon a wonderful groomer. Our Stasi is awesome and Chester, much like a child left with the sitter … he’s not thrilled to go but he doesn’t cry when I leave and he gets glowing and happy reports from everyone in the grooming salon. She takes such great care of him and also teaches me about how to care for him. Those first couple visits she let me stay and observe, guiding me into how to care for his fur/hair, detangling and gripping him without hurting him. When she moved to a different location, we tried a different person but that was such an awful experience for both Chester and me, we drive the extra bit and go to where our Stasi is … knowing she’ll take care of us. J
Another blessing is our wonderful vet and her ever so patient and calm staff. After our first visit, where it was discovered that “the seller” had never properly cared for my guy’s ears – thus we got to start our time together dealing with an ear infection. Nothing bonds an owner and a pet faster than having to do icky ear medicine twice a day for 10 days. Since then we have gotten caught up on shots, gone through the boyhood “snip snip” of neutering as well as taking care of extracting 4 baby teeth that had roots for oak trees not teeth that should just fall out. You know your vet office is a blessing when they wait till after they hang up from your call describing a cough, a poop, or an action to begin laughing. We probably do have a reputation at our vet’s office, but the doc also thinks he is a very healthy, well-adjusted little guy, so that’s just fine with me.
So, here we are now. My Ball of Fluff is one year old. He’s passed his infancy and is now in his childhood years. Yet, there’s no foreseeable slowdown with my little boy. He is definitely still in his playful puppy stage as evidenced from the moment I open the door in the evening until I close the door in the morning. His favorite words are “Wanna go bye-bye?” and he will fly down the sidewalk to wait by the car door, leaping into his seat and waiting for his window to be rolled down. His deep little growl/bark sounds so “fierce” yet it is offset by the swishing fast wagging of his curly little tail. He has yet to meet a sock he doesn’t want to remove from a foot, a piece of paper that he doesn’t feel the need to taste test and tear, or a roll of toilet paper or article of clothing that he doesn’t think needs to gleefully be pulled down the hallway. Much like a 2 year old child, he is inquisitive and delights in the repetitive … snooping to find out what I am doing at all times, chasing the elusive wind controlled leaf, sniffing the air at all times trying to locate where treats have been hidden or a snack laid down briefly, or playing endless games of fetch with favored toys. He has achieved the command of “stay”, considers the command of “come”, and looks at you intently when commanded to “quiet”.
While Chester has managed to catch his first mouse during his first year and has come to understand that ringing the bell on the doorknob gets me to let him outside, we are still working steadily on some basics such as “why can’t you poop outside if you will go potty outside??????”.
He’s MY pup.
He is happiest when he is with me.
He is saddest when I leave.
Wanna know what else?
So am I.
Happy Birthday, my little boy … my fierce protector from beneath my legs … my wiggling wart of fluff … my overzealous tongue wagging licking monster … my cuddling bedtime companion.
Your ChesterMomma loves you. I’m glad we found each other.
And that’s no joke, nor is it a prank. Just the honest to goodness truth.