>It was Always Her…
>So… we have some chihuahuas… 4 to be exact.
First came Ruby… she’s my first born and an awesome dog. Next came her mate, Philip. They made a litter of puppies… the cutest I’ve ever seen. We became very attached and in the end we each chose one to keep. Missy found her doggy-soulmate in Porkchop and although I kind of had a hard time deciding, it was really always Oliver for me. So we have a little chihuahua family… it’s pretty cute, actually.
The last time all the puppies were together in 2005 (Oliver is on the far right):
Anyway… Oliver was always “my” puppy, but not until I got pregnant in 2007 did he become inseperable from me (I think!) I slept many nights on the couch because of insomnia and general comfort (it was hard to get out of bed… LOL)… and he always slept with me, curled up in the space between my belly and the back of the couch. When pregnancy fatigue hit me badly and I spent most of my days napping on the couch, Oliver was always right there with me. We used to joke about how he was “hatching” the baby, because he was pretty much laying on the belly 24/7 – whenever he could. Still, I thought this was about ME. That maybe he saw me as vulnerable so he just LOVED to cuddle with me… i dunno.
And then when the baby came, of course we spent a lot of time lounging… feeding the baby… watching the baby nap… etc. And there he was…. all the time. He kept me company and never left my side. He stayed up late nights with me and slept wherever we slept. He was never threatened by the baby, never jealous. He was just SO loyal!
Oliver with baby Lilian on 3 seperate occasions in September 2008 (Lilian was 1 month old).
As Lilian got older… and more mobile… and more curious, she also got more grabby. Some of our dogs aren’t into it that much, not that they don’t love her, they are just a little afraid of her, and tend to run when they see her coming. But not Oliver, he lets her pull at him, rub, grab, hug, etc. and if she hurts him, nothing more than a rumble/growl comes from him, but never a snap, bite, or bark. He has such patience with her.
When I leave a room, Oliver follows me. If I’m in the bedroom, so is he. Kitchen-kitchen. If I go to the bathroom, he waits for me in the living room to see where I’ll go next. When I nap, he naps. He’s always there like a shadow. Except, if i leave Lilian in a room… if she’s on the bed watching TV and i run to grab something, he stays with her.
We are a co-sleeping family… and I mean that in all senses of the word. Our dogs sleep in bed with us… and so does Lilian. It’s crowded, but it’s cozy and it works for us. Lilian sleeps next to me and so does Oliver. But that’s not surprising, where I go, he goes. And where I am, Lilian usually is.
Well, the other day, Lilian fell asleep during dinner (literally in her high chair) and after dinner Missy put her on her lap to sleep while Missy and I watched American Idol. And Oliver didn’t sit with me on my side of the couch! He sat on Missy’s lap… on top of Lilian! I couldn’t believe he was sitting on Missy and not me. He never chooses her. He chooses me! And that’s when Missy told me the truth. “It was always her.” Not that he doesn’t love me, because i know he does. But since Lilian was conceived and nothing more than an extra little heartbeat in my belly, he has loved her. He listened to her growing in my belly and waited to meet her… and once he did, he never really left her side. They take all their naps together, she shares all her meals and snacks with him (and he takes them from her very delicately, never nips her fingers), and he watches over her. He’s always been my dog… but I am pretty sure he’s convinced she’s HIS baby as much as she is any of ours. After all, he hatched her.
It was a kind of bittersweet realization. I thought I had the most loyal dog on the planet… and as it turns out, I do, only I’m his second favorite. And if I had to pick anyone in the world to be his first favorite, I’d pick her. But seeing them together is the sweetest thing ever… my two favorite tiny creatures seem to love each other as much as I love them both. She evn says his name – out of her 30 or so words she has right now, his name is one of them. It sounds kind of like “AH-ver” when she says it, and it’s adorable.
I wonder if when she’s older and a little more independent (sleeping/napping by herself, playing in a different room from me, etc.) he’ll choose her over me. Right now he follows BOTH of us since we are always together, but when we’re not… who will he choose? They’re so sweet together, I won’t mind if it’s her. But I definitely will miss my dog… the most loyal dog I ever met.