Cupcake… by Taylor

A small dog sitting on the seat of a car.

 I used to have a dog named Cupcake. She was a shih-tzu. She was absolutely adorable, but she could be troublesome. Cupcake was white with big black spots. I was just a baby when I got her from an elderly woman that had a shih-tzu of her own with about 3 puppies. Cupcake was the runt of the litter and I fell in love with her. I would take naps with her, eat with her, and play with her. I even remember sharing my food with her like you see on television shows.

I literally remember sitting in my highchair and taking a bite of an apple and then leaning over to give her a bite. She loved it when I did that. Then I would take a bite again. I know that’s gross, but that was just her and I doing our thing.

We were inseparable. I used to walk around the house at 3-5 years old and carry her in a Walmart sack. She would just stick her head out and let me. I liked to play with her. She wasn’t rough with me and let me do whatever. When I got older, I would tease her and mess with her so that she would chase me around the room. It was so fun. She would run really fast. I would start running in circles, then jump on the couch. She would jump up with me and get over it.

One of her favorite things to do was sun- bathe. She will do that all day, every day. If I wasn’t playing with her, then she would lie on the floor, or her favorite spot, on top of the back of the couch, basking in the sun. That was her thing to do when she wanted alone time. She looked so cute and calm just lying there. She also loved to lie down inside our old futon. There was a hole in the back underneath it, and she would just climb right in it.

One problem we had with her though was potty training. If we did not let her out when she had to go, then she would just go wherever. We would lay peepee pads down in multiple rooms before we left to go somewhere and come back to see that she only peed partially on the pad and some on the floor. It was so embarrassing one time she literally peed on a table when we had a guest over. I mean, I was just standing there in such awe and embarrassment. 

Besides that, when we let her outside, she had to have a leash on or else she would run off. She would also just run out the door if she had the chance when it was open. I would get so scared sometimes. Most of the time she only went to the neighbor’s house and I would go get her. I will say I loved walking back with her to the house because I would hold her belly up like a baby. But as she got older, she ran further than just the neighbor’s house. She started running a couple miles to find a male dog she liked.

 He was black and white also, but too big for her to be with. If she got pregnant because of him, then her puppies could have ended up too big, and that would have ended badly. One time she was gone, like half a day, and I almost lost it. One day we left for Church, around 5 or 5:30pm, and as we were backing out of the driveway she showed up. I felt so much relief. Cupcake also ran off one time and came back with that male dog. I was happy she found another dog, but I was not happy that it was causing her to run away. That eventually came to a stop.

She stopped running off one day, and I remember we looked at her and thought she was pregnant. Her belly was enormous. So that was the first thing we thought. I was ecstatic at first, but then we all thought about how dangerous that could be for her. Also, mama and daddy did not want any puppies. They took her to the vet and came home with bad news. She had diabetes. I was very upset when I found out. I hoped she would be okay, and she was a fighter. We had to give her one shot every day. She would get bloated, but the shots helped with that.

Then the hits just kept on coming. She went blind. It hurt me to find out that she also was turning blind. One day I was playing or something with her and noticed her eye looked different. She had some weird bump on it. I took a good look at it and went to get my mom. She looked at it and took her to the vet. The vet told her she had an ulcer on her eye. The diabetes caused her to go blind. On top of that, she always rubbed her eye on the carpet floor. There is no doubt that made it worse. Once she couldn’t really see anymore, she had some trouble getting around the house. She might run into something every once in a while. She got the hang of it, though.

Now outside was a different story. She would go outside and use the bathroom like normal, but had trouble finding the door to get back in. I felt so bad for her. Cupcake would get goopy stuff around her eyes all the time. I wanted to start help to clean her eyes, so my parents showed me how to wipe her eyes with a baby wipe. I did not feel comfortable giving her shots on my own, so I left that to them.

 One day, the worse happened. I left for school one morning and did not know what news was coming ahead of me. Cupcake was gone. My dad was off at work, and my mom told me she must have run away when she opened the door. She didn’t know at the time because she was busy with my little brother, trying to get him out the door. It devastated me! It really hurt me deep down inside. I didn’t know I could become so attached to an animal until I met her. Especially at that moment, I didn’t know how to handle the situation in my head.

My mind was going a million miles an hour, thinking about finding her. I had nothing but her on my mind. We started off just shouting for her outside. Then my mom drove off to look for her. Then I really started thinking about her not coming back. I vividly remember standing in the middle of the road yelling my heart out for her. I was sobbing. My voice cracking as I yelled. I felt like the world stopped and I couldn’t do anything. All I wanted was for her to come back to me. My mom came back home and saw me and helped calm me down. I never stopped thinking about her. How could I? She was like my own child. I didn’t want to give up. We looked around in the nearby field and yelled and shouted for her. Our neighbors saw us and wanted to help. We still didn’t find her, though.

My mom told me something that her mother told her: Sometimes when a dog knows their journey on earth is ending, they run away so their owner won’t see them. It helped me feel better knowing that. It’s hard to explain how. I like to think she died a peaceful death. I love her so much. I know she is waiting in Heaven for me though.