When I first met Milo, he was this scruffy pekinese from the streets. Or so we thought. We adopted him from a local ASPCA after numerous trips looking for our perfect dog. And boy was he perfect. He had an attitude, he had charisma, he had a unique look, and he had some sharp little teeth. When he first came home, I was away on a business trip at the CDC in Atlanta. I called home and had my first telephone conversation with him. I would coo and tell him I loved him, and he would sing (yelp the only way small dogs do). I came home soon after and he greeted me by running hysterically down the long NY hallway and I just scooped him up. I grabbed him, kissed him and hugged him. Thereafter, I was the only one that could get away (for a little bit) picking him up. He was very protective of his body.
He was a very independent dog. See, he had survived the gritty streets of New York for about ten hours before he was picked up by a couple who wanted him but ended up being allergic. The horror. I cannot imagine being allergic to dogs. I was his companion and he was mine. Walking down the streets of New York, I quickly learned how to pull chicken bones and rotten tomatoes out of his mouth. If you are a dog owner in New York, it is a good skill to have. We looked out for each other and were each others companion.
When I was pregnant and suffered through morning sickness for seven months, he would be there for me metaphorically holding back my hair. When I was down and crying, he licked up my tears. I have a feeling he mightily loved salt but those actions of his were comforting beyond belief. He was my pillow.
We would sing together, we would hug and he would beg for apple pie. He had a major sweet tooth, just like me. There was one thanksgiving dinner where we turned our backs for a second and he dove into the pie completely ignoring the plate of meat. He was funny. He would play tricks on us all the time; somehow hiding about the 700 square foot apartment. I never knew dogs could have a sense of humor. But he surely did. He was quite a clown. Although, ironically enough, he didn’t appreciate when I dressed him up in a Court Jester’s Halloween outfit. Maybe was just meant to be a clown in private and a force to be reckoned with in public.
We did two cross country trips together. He was quite a trooper. When a bunch of zombies attacked our u-haul and knocked out our rear-view mirror he flashed them his mighty small-tooth snarl. He didn’t quite scare them away but he was always there to protect me. One time he took on a fearsome German Shepard that growled and lunged at me. Who, by the way, has a huge dog in New York? I, in turn, tried to protect him from the German Shepard. We were quite a sight to behold and that was love.
It is two years since his death and he remains in my heart and thoughts. Everyday he is still my beloved pet, companion, clown and love.
Here is a New York Apple Martini cheer for my beloved dog, Milo