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BabyGirl: My heart and soul dog, by Susan Perreault-Demchesen

My former husband mentioned getting another dog because one of his regular customers was a breeder. I told him that I didn’t want a dog – I was already taking care of two cats and two dogs.

A month later he presented me with this tiny black dog with a brown face, eyebrows and underbelly. She was so small and cute. As I took her and placed her to my chest, she squirmed her way up to my neck, nuzzled me and fell asleep. The plan had been to bring her to me, knowing I wouldn’t be able to resist and then return her to the litter for another week until she was properly weaned. After her brief encounter with me, they told me all she did was cry and whine for 12 hours. So they brought her back to me the following day.

BabyGirl was the cutest little baby, and she insisted on always being with me, but I had to go to work. My former husband said that after she cried at the front door for a while, she would eventually return to our bed and burrow in the blankets. Every hour he would hear her use the steps I made for her to reach the bed, and then there was a banging on our front door. He assumed it was BabyGirl trying to break down the door.

After my divorce my roommates told me that after I left the house BabyGirl would get a running start and “catapult” herself at the front door.

Years later, when I lived with my dogs and my boyfriend and his dog, we recorded all three dogs sitting and watching the door while we were gone. There was no banging or “catapulting” but they got closer and closer to the door until all three were a nose away.

While I was living with my mom, she said whenever I left the house, BabyGirl did nothing but watch the front door. She wouldn’t eat, play, relieve herself or allow herself to be distracted. Once I was gone for eight hours and she relieved herself at the door.

Even as she got older and spent a lot of time napping, BabyGirl would focus all her attention on the front door until I returned. When I got home, my BabyGirl would smother me with kisses. When she was confident I wasn’t going to leave again, she would go outside to relieve herself and then take a nap, always with at least one paw on me or part of her body touching mine.

It’s been seven months since I received kisses from my BabyGirl. I am grateful for the 18 years of joy she brought me, but I miss her so much it physically hurts my heart. I think about her every day, and every day I end up in tears.

I finally found a silver lining to losing my sweet girl. The only way I wouldn’t be mourning my BabyGirl every day is if I died before her – and if that had happened, my BabyGirl would have ended up dying at the front door waiting for me.

Although I feel sad and regretful about helping her pass on (I knew she would never willingly leave me) I have the comfort of knowing that she passed in my arms instead of at the front door, wondering why I never returned to her.

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