On December 1, 2011 Ray and his siblings, who were to be dubbed “The Sparkle Puppies” were born. The one’s who survived are all in loving homes and this is Ray’s story.
I was fortunate enough to be present the night Ray was born. Not many adopters can say that and I know how special that is. I helped rescue his little family and I feel a connection to all of them to this day which I’m sure will last a lifetime. When we finally knew we were going to commit to adopting one of these puppies, what followed was the longest seven weeks of my life. I got updates and pictures of the litter, but in the early days, I wasn’t completely sure which pup we’d end up adopting.
True, the moment I laid eyes on Ray, I thought, “I want the green guy.” He was nearly covered with …something green and icky, but he was the most adorable little piggy. Kimmel, now known as Chloe, was the only surviving girl of the litter, so if we decided to adopt based on gender, she would have been the choice. But when it comes right down to it, I think Ray was always our boy.
There were definitely challenges all along the way. It took a while before Sparkles was nursing the litter but we breathed a sigh of relief when she finally did. One of the babies above (the smaller black one) was nearly frozen when rescued wouldn’t thrive so we supplemented with food but he didn’t survive the month of December. Finally when all were settled in, Sparkles began guarding her food from the puppies.
Because they were on mushy solid food early and by six and a half to seven weeks weren’t nursing, I got the ok to pick up my baby.
The week we were to pick up Ray, I scurried out to do some shopping, after all, everybody knows these little short haired babies would get cold without some coverings. Let me tell you, by mid to late January, there are some pretty darned good sales on dog clothes and just by guessing sizes, I was able to procure an impressive wardrobe for one so young. I didn’t, however, bring the clothes with me and I went to pick him up on a very snowy Friday night. I plowed slowly over the roads in my truck, arriving at his Foster Mama’s home well after dark. We chatted, signed paperwork and when it was time to carry my naked piggy out into the cold, I whipped my pashmina off and wraped him in it and cuddled my baby on my lap for the drive home.
When we got him home, I will admit that he had a couple of differentoutfits on and maybe I should have let him get a little more settled before making him be my dress up doll.
That first evening, Ray was mostly interested in snuggling and that was to set a standard for the next twelve months of his life. We were pleasantly shocked to find that he slept in his crate as if he owned it and not once whimpered or cried at night. During the day, if we were together, he was on my lap-in the early days that mostly consisted of me holding a nylabone or some other chew toy and trying to keep him directed there rather than on fingers, toes or anything else that moved and seemed like fair game. My six pound puppy grew up, right before my eyes and from the comfort of Mama’s lap and 74 pounds later, he can usually still be found there.
This past year has been full of ups and downs, but on reflection, the ups have been great enough to outweigh the downs. Recently as I bent down to ask for a kiss, I realized I expected a kiss. I knew I would get a big, sloppy, Pit bull kiss and would not get a lungey over excited shark mouth kiss.
I’m crazy about this boy, and I have something to declare. I haven’t said it. Ever. Not once in the past year have I said this. It isn’t anything to be said lightly and it can’t be unsaid.
Ray is my heart dog.
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