My "Baby Girl"
December 21, 1994 - February 1, 2005
I was around 30 yrs. old when I found my perfect puppy right outside of Cove, Arkansas. She was a Maltipoo. "What is a Maltipoo," I asked the breeder. She told me that her mom was a Maltese and her dad was a poodle. I had never seen anything like her! She was so tiny, furry, fuzzy, happy and excited to see ME when I picked her up! She smelled so clean and fresh and was the sweetest thing in my arms since I'd held my baby nephew and niece! She was my baby and I named her that...Baby. I never had any human children so she was my child. We lived together, just me and Baby, in De Queen, Arkansas. All I could think about was my puppy and I couldn't wait to come home every day at lunch to see her! And then the afternoons were so long until I got to see her again! I was excited and anxious to get her in my arms every day! I started house training her immediately and as Baby got older, I started working with her obedience training and tricks such as sit, lay, shake, wave bye-bye, speak, sit up, stay, and anything I could think of to teach her! Baby could drive too. Yes, she would stand up in my lap and look over the steering wheel. I know people thought I was crazy but it must have looked awfully cute to have that furry white 5 lb. doggy at the wheel!
And so we played and loved and everyone who met her fell instantly in love! She made every move I made, followed me around and observed me while I cooked. She hid when I vacuumed but quickly came running when I turned it off. I chased her and would tell her, "I'm gonna get you." She would tuck her bottom under and run in big circles around me, panting each time her feet hit the ground and barking about every other time. Then she would change directions and wanted me to run from her as she ran behind "telling me" (barking) that she was gonna get me! She and I really communicated. She knew if I was sad or upset and she was always there to cheer me up! If I was sick, she knew and would lay so still by my side and never move all day if I didn't move. She wouldn't even "ask" to go outside to potty. If I phoned in a to-go order at a local restaurant and she heard me say, "hamburger and fries", she would start barking and run to the door because she ALWAYS got to go. Oh, and that reminds me.......she could spell. I could ask her if she wanted to "G - O" and that's when she'd run to the door, circle and bark. When I had to go out of town overnight for a meeting, I had to hide my suitcase in my closet and pack it only when she was napping or in the bed. She was just as attached to me as I was to her because she would actually get stressed and cry over me leaving. My daddy would "Baby sit" for me while I was gone! She would always be either mad and sull up at me when I'd get back home or she would be so excited and happy to see me - depended on how long I was gone. She didn't sull too awfully long though - she couldn't stand it if I wasn't "making" over her and she'd come around. She was so funny and she knew how to pull my heart strings.
At that point, she was the best thing and was the constant in my life. Our love was certainly unconditional - to say the least! Some people never get the opportunity to enjoy such companionship and truly "feel" the love of an animal such as a dog. Outside of my human family, there's nothing like it! Baby passed away from a horrible accident on February 1, 2005. She slipped away quietly as I held her in my arms. There was nothing else I could do for her. She had turned 10 years old December 21, 2004. She shared her life with me for 10 wonderful years! As badly as I hurt and mourned for her, I would do it all over again. I will continue to love animals, namely dogs. They are my passion. I will never have another pet like her and would never try to replace her because it would be unfair and only cause disappointment because no two dogs are the same! She was my first dog baby and the seed in my heart that helped me to take the next step in my life to raise puppies.
I had adopted Bosco, my Maltese boy, a year before Baby passed away. If it weren't for him being with me after she was gone, I don't know what I would have done. He helped me so much. I met my husband, David, exactly one week after I lost Baby. I shared with him my grief over my Baby. He was so sympathetic and I felt he understood part of my pain, for he too loved a dog named Simon, his daughter's male Yorkie. David and I married later on that year and so I once again had 2 housedogs and now, second to being saved by the blood of Jesus, the best thing that ever happened to me in my life - my husband, David! We were so busy building our new life, but there was still something missing in my heart and life. I would cry and David would console me. This continued for almost a year as I hinted on and off that I would love to have another Maltipoo girl. One night, with tears in my eyes, I looked to David and asked him if I could get another girl. I was missing my girl. David immediately agreed that I could get my girl. I think he was just waiting for me to ask. He knew it was a sensitive issue with me.
My search began.....looking in every newspaper in our small town, even larger newspapers in adjoining towns and then eventually the Internet. WOW!!! That was a huge task! I would spend hours looking for the right puppy only to call or email and find out the puppy was unavailable. This continued for several months. I wanted to take my time and get the right one, you know! Finally, I saw the cutest little Maltese girl in a town in Oklahoma about 2 hours from us. I called and she was available! I could not believe it. I really pushed my limits when I asked David what he thought about me getting this little girl Maltese and then a boy Poodle and making our own Maltipoos. Hmmmmmm.......that took a little more convincing, but he finally agreed. I found a Toy Poodle in Alabama and he would be ready to come home with us about 2 wks. after the Maltipoo girl. We picked up our girl and I cried on the way home while holding her. Tootie would be her name and I told David on the way home, "I already love her!" Two weeks later, Alabama, here we come! Pedee was named on the way home. I didn't fall in love with him as quickly because I didn't have time - he was too busy pooping and getting car sick! No need to worry, I love him with all of my heart. The two of them instantly loved each other and played together so well! These two became our first breeding pair.
We had an opportunity to get some more breeding females and males from a girl in our county. They were all young (under 3 yrs. old) and ready to start having babies! We did lots of research and legwork and found a building that was specifically designed to house dogs - a kennel that suited our needs. I refer to the kennel as their apartment! We started on a plan and schedule and eventually figured out what we wanted to do as far as housing the dogs. They have air conditioning in the summer (around 76 degrees) and heat in the winter (around 70 degrees). We have an air exchanger on a timer to keep fresh air in their apartment. They have outside pens as well that are accessible from the apartment. They can come and go as they wish. I bathe and groom them in their apartment also. I keep their hair clipped short in the summertime and a little longer in the winter. All of our adults are on a de-worming program and get yearly booster vaccinations. We also do health testing on our parent dogs. We collect DNA and send to Paw Print Genetics. We have been blessed with choosing great breeding dogs from equally great breeders. We believe that healthy puppies come from healthy parents. We strictly follow our vet's recommendations.
We would love to keep all of our dogs in the house at all times, but that is not feasible for us. We recently (2019) added a nursery designed especially for the moms and babies when they are born. I assist with each delivery, sometimes actually helping the puppy from it's sac, tying off the umbilical cord and cleaning the puppy before putting it back in with mom. My puppies are handled and loved every day. I talk to them before their eyes and ears open. I feel that they can sense me and I think they know I am talking to them. As the puppies grow and get older, I continue playing with and socializing them. I keep them clean and free from urine and feces. They are very special to me and I take top notch care of each one of them. I spare no expense when a puppy is weak or seems to appear sick. If I can't help them then I take them to my vet. I think of myself as a foster parent taking exceptional care of a puppy until I help it find it's forever home!
I know this is a long story but I share it with so many people who actually call and visit with me. I just wanted to share it with others. As you can tell, I love talking about my babies. David says if you cracked open my head, puppies would run out of it! I hope we ended on a happy note and I didn't make you too sad about my Baby. I just wanted to share a little bit of my memories of her and let you know why I started raising puppies. It is a life long dream and I feel so very fortunate to be able to do it. Now I have several girls - and boys - and they are all so very sweet with their individual personalities! It's not "just a puppy business" for me, it's a labor of love - straight from my heart!
I appreciate my husband for his huge amount of patience when one of our moms start in labor we have to change our plans at the last minute or we have to take an alternate route on a trip because we are delivering a puppy to an excited family and many other delays and things he has to endure with me! He's an awesome man but so humble and I am thankful for him and all he does! If it weren't for his patience, understanding and assistance, I wouldn't be able to enjoy my true passion....raising dog babies!
Sidenote: Bosco is still with us. He will be 16 yrs. old December 21, 2019!
Baby, waving to me