Before I met my husband I was working in the Bay area as an apartment complex manager. When tenants moved out I was required to inspect the apartment for damage and cleanness. One time, while I was inspecting an apartment the lady had a friend helping her with the last minute details and the friend had a friend with her. It was a baby pug. I could not believe my eyes, I had never seen a baby pug, they kind of look like aliens with their big heads and pop eyes!
I just about died from the cuteness and vowed that if I ever got out of my apartment living I would get a pug. Fast forward five years, I met my Jerry and we got married and got a house and within a month we had the pugster, my Balthazar. At that time my husband was working very long hours and often over seas and out of town and all I had was Balthazar so of course, I doted on him like a child. Dressing him up and taking him with me every where. After a few months we decided that he really needed a play mate since he had so much energy and that was when we decided to get Sassafras, long for Sassy since she was such a spirited little girl when we picked her up in the parking lot at the local Safeway. I literally squealed when I saw her she was soooo tiny sitting on the pavement in that parking lot that I almost didn’t see her at all! Oh she was such a cutie pie and we took her home to Balthazar and he cried he was so excited! he did not know what to make of her, she was so tiny next to him. What a fun moment that was. They have been together ever since.
I remember when he was a tiny pup I would carry him in a little purse like carrier with his head popped out at one end. I took him like this when we went to the SFMOMA, he was asleep and I guess they thought he was a stuffed animal because they let me through with him and I got up to the third level before one of the guards realized I had an animal with me. HA!
Shortly after acquiring him I quit the job I was working at as an after school program director because they would not let me bring him to work. I had been told prior that I would be able to have him so I was angry they reneged, and I am just not the type of dog owner who can leave a dog home by itself for 8 or 9 hours.
I use to call him “King Tut” because he had this big dog in a small body thing, he was quite the alpha male, so full of personality. When I would pick him and put him on my lap, he would promptly turn front sitting up on his hind legs like I was his person doing what I am suppose to be doing, holding and doting on him!
Of course he loved his walks and he loved his baths. Not so much the washing part but the drying part. he would roll around on the towels and stretch making the funniest I feel good noises and then in appreciation he would jump up at me with kisses, with his big oversized tongue that always hung outside his mouth cuz it didn’t fit!
He was a very emotional dog too, if he saw me crying or heard me yelling he would bark and cry out also. It was very touching.
He so adored getting in the pool and jacuzzi with us. If he were inside the house and he heard one of us in the pool swimming he would bark like crazy and stare out the window door pacing back and forth and he would not even be distracted by food or treats. If we were in the jacuzzi he would bark and cry till we took him in with us, and he would race across the thin ledge like a tight rope walker, we marveled at how fast he was and he did not fall down! When people were over they would get such a kick out of Balthazar jumping on my back for a piggy back ride in the shallow end of the pool, oh he was in heaven those days!
Every time he went out into the back yard he would stare at the pool. Even after he went blind. He would go right to the ledge and look down, he knew the water was there.
About five years ago he became diabetic and in less than a year he went blind. I will never forget the look on his face when I went to throw him a treat and he could not see it and I realized and he realized that he could not see it. I felt helpless and sick about it. But for about four years he could still see shadows and shapes and get around, he actually did quite well. But about 6 months ago the blindness increased severely and his world went completely dark. His demeanor and disposition changed dramatically. He became very insecure and wanted me around him constantly. If I left the house he would howl relentlessly, it was awful, and heart breaking. He would spend most of the day like a little bumper car, bumping into walls looking for me. It was stressful being needed so intensely and quite painful knowing that his quality of life had diminished even further. It has been a series of problems since as he continued to deteriorate and his liver became enlarged and he could not eat or hold down food or water. Today, we had to let him go, he was suffering and I really could not bear it. His last week at home was one of the worse weeks of my life. I had hoped for a miracle. But there was not a miracle in sight. You may think, he was just a dog, but I couldn’t have felt any worse were he a person. Love is love whether it be person or animal and I loved him so deeply and I miss him so much. It was such a relief to euthanize him because I know his body had turned on him completely. I was glad he would no longer have that ravaged little body and his beautiful spirit could be at blissful peace.