Eleven years ago today – it was a Super Bowl Sunday as well – my first baby, Mya, was born. One of eleven pups, one of two girls in the litter, my little girl was born to a sweet, gentle black Lab mix in Hazel Park, MI. An unplanned pregnancy in a family who had no desire to keep any of the puppies. When the news of “free puppies” made its way to my inbox, I jumped on the opportunity to adopt one. I met Mya a week or two after she was born and fell in love instantly. I put a too-big pink collar around her neck and assured her I would be back soon to take her home. When I got the call just a couple of weeks later to “pick her up or she’d be going to the pound,” I hustled to the car and made my way to her birthplace.
Mya was exactly 4 weeks and 6 days old when she came home. The experience was much like what I imagine bringing a new baby home would be like. I carried her around PetSmart grabbing everything I – she – needed while she slept, exhausted from the big day. I got her home and bathed her in the kitchen sink then proceeded to snuggle with her until she had to eat or go outside.
My very first baby. Possibly the one who all others will be compared to. She would have been eleven years old today.
Hard to believe how much my life has changed in eleven years. It’s even harder to wrap my mind around the fact that she’s still gone and been gone for nearly three years. She has been heavy on my mind recently and was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning. Sometimes, occasionally, my dreams of her are so vivid – good and sad – that I wake up crying. It’s the worst feeling. But, it reminds me of the connection we shared and our eight years of adventures and experiences – the tears in the months after my step-dad passed away, failed relationships (on my part), laughter-filled gatherings with friends and family, the move to and life in Florida, the adoption of three feline sisters, meeting and marrying my husband, and calling nine addresses home. We lived a lot of life in those eight years.
Sometimes I think that Mya saved my life with her presence. She helped see clearly, stay grounded, and grow up. Like a child, she had needs and, like a mother, I had to be there for her…to meet those needs. I am grateful for every moment of those eight years together and sad that I didn’t get more time with her.
Today I am simply overflowing with love and emotion for my baby girl. And, today when I looked in the eyes of each of my other babies, I saw a little bit of Mya shining through. She’s always with me.
Mya, about a year old. She was such a clown. I often referred to her as a circus dog because of how much she loved to ham it up and be the center of attention. She made every moment more fun. Clearly.