|Guapo: January 30, 2001 - March 31, 2012|
In 2001, Guapo came into my life and fit nicely in my hands. He was tiny, but spunky and knew immediately that I was his mommy. Those first nights, he cried so very much in his tiny crate, that I relented and allowed him to sleep with me. Each morning, those first few months, I’d awake with him pawing at my hair so I would let him out. In those early years, he was my running partner, logging 2-3 miles, which is pretty amazing when I think about it. It’s been 9 years since I first met Don. I was nervous on that first trip out to Kansas to meet his family, but he was right there with me. We were both welcomed with open arms.
We had the usual issues with marking in the house, and even though it irritated me to no end, I knew he wasn’t proud of it. He would always slink away, with his tail between his legs and retreat to his crate. But none of that mattered because he was always there. Always by my side. Each heartache, each sickness, each pregnancy, he would crawl up next to me and comfort me. He taught me so very many lessons, but the biggest of them...the true meaning of unconditional love.
He loved babies. He was born two weeks before my niece and was 5 months old when we went to live with my sister for a couple of months. During that time, he bonded with Z and became quite protective and attached to her. When I was pregnant with Mari, he would lay near my belly, sometimes his head propped on top and she would kick away. He never looked at me weird or walked away. If anything, he snuggled tighter. The day we brought her home from the hospital, we found him under her swing, with his bone in his mouth. We caught him trying to give her his bone.
One of his many talents was being a sleep aid. When I needed to nap, he would crawl up and next thing I knew, I was passed out. I could nap for 15 minutes and feel like I slept for 5 hours. Everyone who came to visit us knew him as the sleep kryptonite. If he crawled in your lap, odds were, you would pass out. Few were able to resist this. Our friends and family who visited, did not find it uncommon to wake with Guapo nestled in them. He was a friend to all.
Wow, did he love a celebration! Birthdays were filled with people and treats and singing! The only dog I know to sing happy birthday along with the rest of us. He would really get into it, too!
Fall afternoons were filled with watching football. He would go nuts when I would celebrate a touchdown. He would sing right along with me when I sang the Tech fight song. I’d like to think he was an avid Red Raider fan. Christmas morning was filled with excitement because he looked forward receiving his own gifts. The 4th of July were filled with sparklers and fireworks. He’d sit right there with us in the parking lot. And Easter…cascarones and treats from the grill. I think it was his most favorite holiday.
It’s those everyday sounds that he made that creep up and bring out the heartache when I least expect it. His long nails tapping on the floor, stomping on the plastic liner in his crate out of excitement or nervousness. His tail twhacking the cage, the floor, the wall. His collar jingling. Licking…oh the constant licking. The familiar bark when anyone came to the door. The bark when the wind blew and he thought someone was at the door. The ringing of the bells to be let out to bask in the sun.
We laid him to rest in our backyard. Our friends came over for a service. We shared a meal together, the first one where I wouldn’t later catch him licking the floor for scraps. Don spent part of the afternoon making a coffin for him. It was a sunny afternoon and he would have enjoyed laying in the sun. He and Mari dug the hole for his final resting place. He enjoyed lounging in that shaded area because it allowed the right amount of sunlight through. Plus, he liked to eat the tall grass and smell the jasmine. Don wrapped him up in one of his favorite fleece blankets, and propped his head on a pillow. We all said our goodbyes and signed the lid with our sentiments. He was laid in the ground, and we blanketed him with a bed of fragrant flower petals. We lit sparklers and I said a prayer for him and gave thanks for his friendship.
As I looked around, I saw the many faces of my friends. I was ever, ever so grateful they were there. We had so much outpouring of love and support, I’m truly and completely humbled and honored. He was a wonderful friend, who lived a great life, and was touched by so many. Thank you all! Rest in peace, buddy.