A year ago today was one of the hardest days in both of our lives.
It was the day we lost our almost 17 year old Chihuahua, Nacho. He was our baby.
My husband & I got him from the Humane Society a month after we moved into our first place together back in 2003.
Looking back, it was definitely fate how we found our little guy. We were very young at the time; I twenty-one and my husband, just short of twenty. Although we were both big animal lovers, it was still a spur of the moment decision to get a dog on that chilly December day.
After we briefly discussed getting a dog, we hopped in the car and headed to a Humane Society not too far away from our new place. When we got off the exit, we followed the directions we had printed off Map Quest. When we arrived to our destination, we found a run down, vacated building. It looked like no one had inhabited the premises in months. Through all of the Kudzu, you could barely see what used to be a sign on the front that read, “Vero Beach Humane Society.”
I must say, I can clearly remember how disappointed we felt that the Humane Society was no longer there. I told my husband, “They must have moved to a location around here somewhere, let’s just keep driving and we will find it.” Now, you must remember that over 10 years ago, you couldn’t just jump on a smart phone for directions-people weren’t even texting back then!
So anyways, we continued on for about a half hour with no luck. We were not near any populated areas that we could just stop and ask for directions. It was all back roads and housing developments. My husband finally said we should just turn around and go home. The woman in me persisted that we find someone to ask. All of a sudden, we saw a police car pulled off to the side of the road. I told my hubs, “There! Pull over! I’ll get out and ask him where it is.” Like the good husband he is, he listened. The officer gave us the directions to the new location. We got right back on the road & soon enough, voila! We were there.
As soon as we walked in, we walked down the first row of dogs. Mostly all large, except for one little black and white Chihuahua that was a yipper. I believe was her name was Pepper. During our brief discussion of getting a dog, we did agree that the dog would need to be small, but we had no particular breed in mind. To us, small only made the most sense living in a 1 bedroom apartment (at least we had that much sense when we were young). Anyways, Pepper was cute, but really young and loud. She was a maybe.
On to the next row. As soon as we turned the corner, I laid eyes on our little man. I knew immediately he was the one. He was sitting on his bum, cute as a button. The name on his cage read, “Pumpkin” because of his beautiful tan coat. I have to be honest, and my spouse might get mad that I am revealing this, but he did not want him at first. If you knew our little boy, I know you must be thinking, “No way!” And I agree-it is pretty hard to believe someone could doubt his cuteness! Who would not want that little Cassanova of a pup we had?
Here I was, “Oh my gosh! Look at him! He is soooo cute! Let’s take him to the visiting room,” and there he was, “Ugh, I don’t know…you really think he is that cute? Lets keep looking.” Then, I recall clear as day, a family walking up to “Pumpkin’s” cage and standing beside us. It appeared to be a mom, dad, and their daughter. She wanted Pumpkin! I told my husband we had to act fast. So, I went and found one of the technicians & asked if we could take him out to visit with him.
Long story short, we took him home (him now being “Nacho”) with us a few days later, and he was ours ever since. During those years, Nacho brought us so much joy, and he taught us so many things. He was a best friend to both of us. He was part of our family. People used to ask me how I was going to survive once he was gone. They would tell me they were worried for me before it even happened. They would say, “you know, it is going to happen, you have to prepare yourself for it.”
Well, here we are, 1 year later. Hard to believe he has been gone for a whole year now, especially when it still hurts like it does. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Although we were never be prepared to lose him, as some people told us to be, we are still surviving thanks to God’s grace. I will tell you it hasn’t been easy though, losing our first pregnancy a month before his passing, and then 2 more pregnancies both within 8 months after his passing. It’s been rough. To be completely honest, sometimes I wonder how we have done it, or how we are doing it for that matter.
That said, it is still quite hard for me to put into words just how special he really was to us. I think one day I will get there, but not today. Today, I just wanted to tell you the story of how he came into our lives. As I am typing this, my tears have some how found a way to sneak out, or pour out I should say. I guess when I am thinking of him, it happens easily. We love you, little boy! 1 year gone, but never, ever forgotten.