Today my oldest friend is getting put to sleep.
She smelled like corn chips and she loved to snuggle and she always had a beard and a weird noise and her stupid little tiny Schnauzer tail. And I loved her every day even when she pooped in the house or ate my curry when I wasn't looking. I'm going to miss talking to her and seeing her wander around hoovering and looking for snacks to eat and I'm going to miss her hogging my bed. I know she had the happiest, easiest, loveliest little dog life. She was never not allowed in a bed or on the couch or in a lap, she was always healthy and well fed and loved. She never once spent the night outside or alone. She was lazy and we let her be. I know she had a good life and that she's old and not functioning anymore and it's time to let her go but this sucks so much that I don't ever even want another dog.
Since today is her last day I want to remember her first day.
It was April in 1996 and I was 9 going on 10. I remember that it was April because someone asked me if she was an Easter present. She wasn't.
I really wanted a dog and I was always looking in the newspaper classifieds and circling "Puppies For Sale" ads for breeds I wanted. I really liked Weimaraners and Dachshunds but one day I found an ad for some reasonably priced Miniature Schnauzers and to my utter shock and awe my mom and I drove down to look at them. This was right before my mom left and I think she knew she was leaving and was feeling guilty.
We went to someone's house and there was this whole litter of teeny tiny baby Mini Schnauzers and they were all so cute and jolly except for one, the runt, Snuggles, who was asleep when we arrived. My mom and I played with all of them for an hour or so and I picked out a little black boy puppy who was falling asleep in my lap by the time I had chosen him. My mom was more interested in the little gray runt baby who had crawled into her purse. She said, "Do you really want another black boy pet?" We had bad luck with black boy animals in the past. A cat named Ebony who we actually stole from someone in Alabama on accident who was just terribly mean and then later a mutt named Smokey who my parents gave away on account of he chewed on everything we owned. I guessed I didn't want another black boy pet so I agreed to taking home Snuggles.
I named her Snuggles the first day. I don't remember any reasoning behind it except that I was 9 years old. My mom wanted to name her Poochinella. My brother wanted to name her anything except Snuggles and for years called her Snuggleupagus because he was a teenage boy and was ashamed of owning a terrier named Snuggles. Later in life I also, briefly, decided her name wasn't cool enough for me, but she always stayed Snuggles. Nothing else could ever fit her personality.
We brought her home and my dad was really mad. He didn't want a dog. After raging about it for a while he fell asleep on the couch and Snuggles got sleepy, too, so my brother put her on his belly and she curled up and went to bed. He woke up with her little tiny baby dog face asleep on his belly and he started laughing and said "She looks like a little old man," on account of the beard and gray hair. And nobody ever had any objections to her living with us ever again.
When she was a baby you could blow on her face and she would bite at the air.
And she was so little that she didn't fit collars for months and I had to use a friendship bracelet I won at the arcade for her collar.
And one time I brought her to a park and a man ran up to me because he thought I was holding a possum.
And one time she was afraid of fart sounds for like a year for no reason.
And she was always afraid of hiccups until she lost her hearing.
And she only had one ear since 2004. They took the other one out and it was just the flap.
And she used to run around super fast when she felt like it and she loved to burrow and get under couches and bed and blankets because that's what Schnauzers do.
And one time she started sleeping in the linen closet and we just let her even though it made the towels smell like chips and we called it Snuggles' Room.
And I'm going to miss her forever. We were puppies together.