I remember trying to walk. I used to fall down, but I kept trying even though I was wobbly. Eventually I figured it out but it was fun back then just to eat and sleep for a while. All of us were walking around now and exploring was so much fun! Mommy used to pick us up and put us back in the pen all the time. It was like a game and we played and played all day until we fell asleep again. Then we played some more.
I didn't want to sleep as much anymore and really just wanted to play and be petted. All these people kept coming over and one day my brother went with some that had stopped by before. I knew he must have been happy and I thought that he must be playing all the time now, but I never saw him again. Then a few days went by and one of my sister's went with some other people. She looked so happy with them and I thought of how much fun she must be having wherever they took her. One by one, they all left except for me. I never saw any of them again, and I was so glad they went with these nice people, but wondered why no one picked me. It was ok though. I was still happy with mommy, daddy, and our humans. I was so small compared to all my brothers and sisters, I was thinking maybe no one wanted me.
The people I met there were so happy to see me. I met David that night and he really liked me. I never went back home and never saw mommy and daddy again. We rode back to Virginia that night. He put me in a different box with windows and it was louder and we went much faster. He let me ride on his lap and I felt really good. I knew he already loved me and that I would be with him forever. It felt good to know that someone finally wanted me even though I was smaller. I wanted to be the best dog ever for him.
When we got back to Virginia he took me in his house and it was so cold outside that night, but he had a wood stove and it was nice and warm. I would sit by that woodstove for many years to come, but when I came inside, I got to meet someone else. Judas came running up to see me. He was another dog like me, black and tan and seemed so happy to meet me. I liked him a lot and thought about my brothers and sisters. I wondered if they went somewhere like this. He licked me and chased me around as I explored this new place. He just wanted to play and play and play all the time and we always played until we were too tired, then went to bed. We always burrowed up under the covers and slept there. It was more comfortable there and I knew that the blankets would protect us from anything and we could always protect David from anything when we were with him.
This was now my home and I don't think it could have been any better. We always missed David when he left but he always came back, and I always made sure I smiled when he got home so that he knew I loved him. Some days he would take us in the box to work, and then we would get in this bigger box that moved slower but was also very high and loud. He has a lot of different riding boxes. David would get in and out a lot during the day and sometimes we even got to play for a little while. When he was driving around, we would bark at cows and horses, and sometimes bikers when they would race by us with loud pipes. It was great fun! Then we would go home and get under the blankets again.
David says I am the toughest dog in the world because I don't cry. I guess it is because of my dewclaw that wasn't fully removed when I was little. He had to cut it off of me one day when it got messed up. It hurt bad, but I didn't cry at all and he still talks about how tough he thinks I am.
There were other dogs around sometimes but none were like us. Judas was a lot like me and I really liked him. Reesee was a big pit bull who stayed with us for a while and he loved me. I knew this because one day someone left the door open and I went exploring alone in Fort Valley. For some reason, Judas wouldn't go with me. I was gone for close to an hour and made my way down the dirt driveway all the way to the road! It was fun and I saw all kinds of cool stuff. I remember people calling my name, but wasn't sure what to do or which way to go. Then Reesee found me and told me to get home. He kept trying to grab me, but he didn't want to hurt me, so he started barking and running back and forth, while nudging me away from the road. Reesee had been run over once in the driveway by a neighbor, but he survived. Not long after that, David found us and I thought he was happy to see me, but he was crying and thanking Reesee. I'm glad he helped me find my way back to my human. He went to another home one day and I never saw him again. I hope he is having fun too somewhere.
Judas and I became very close and he became my boyfriend. We loved each other very much and I miss him. We even had puppies together three different times! The first time I only had one. I didn't let Judas around her at first, but after he knew she was his it was ok. Her name was Taylor and she was black and tan like us. When she was born everybody was there with me. I cried a little for the only time in my life when she showed up because it hurt a little bit. When I first saw her, I realized why I couldn't see when I was little. Her eyes were closed for a few days and she just rolled and crawled around just like I did. And she wanted to eat all the time! I tried to do my best to be a good mother because that is what my name means. I AM a good mother. I noticed that Taylor had something Judas and I didn't. She had a tail. Something must have happened to ours, but I don't remember what it was. When Taylor was old enough, David told Judas and me that she went to another very good home and was loved very much. I never saw her again, but her picture is in my house.
When Judas and I had puppies the second time, I had two little boys, black and tan. Judas had another daughter who came to visit. She was a stag red miniature pinscher and she helped me nurse my puppies for a while. I didn't think she could have helped without having her own puppies, but she did. It was nice to have help, but she went home after a while and I never saw her again.
We had puppies one more time, and that was enough for me. This time I had four, but one died the night he was born. They were all black and tan like us and all got to live in good homes just like I do. One of them is named Digger, and I still get to see him sometimes. He is usually wound up like Judas, but sometimes he is more relaxed like me.
We both used to go to Jiu Jitsu classes with David too. I still enjoy sitting quietly in his gym bag with some people not knowing that I am there. At the end of almost every class I attend, there is usually at least one person surprised to see me. I even have my own gi and have been watching and learning now for so long that I actually earned my very own black belt.
Judas and I eventually began going to another cool place David took us where we made new doggy and kitty friends. Everybody there is bigger than me, as usual, but I am used to that now. I was bigger than some of the kittens for a while, but it didn't last. Cody the husky was the biggest, but he was old and grumpy, so I never really got to meet him before he passed away. Sparkles is the next oldest, but we get along well. Butter is the youngest and I think he wants to be my boyfriend, but I am already taken. Tigger the cat is cool, but he gets in trouble a lot.
Even though Judas passed away, I still miss him and wish he were here. A couple years ago, he got a bad cough and the vet gave him some bad medicine that killed him. I think he might have still been with me, but he would have been 16 years old by now. I remember I was so sad when he died. We went to visit his grave in our pet cemetery after he buried him. I found his stone and tried to dig him up a couple times, but David stopped me and told me I would see him again someday. He knows I don't like staying at my house anymore alone, and he won't leave me there by myself.
I am almost 15 years old now, and I think I have been a good dog. I still want to play, but I am so tired. So many things hurt too, but I won't cry. I want to go with David everyday. I know he loves me and I love him too. He still takes me to a lot of places. One of my favorites is Shark Pit Jiu Jitsu. I still bark at cows and horses too. He took me close to them a few times and they looked so much bigger up close. I still bark at them though when he holds me up where I can see them in the fields. I fell off the bed and hurt my neck earlier this year. I am wobbly again like when I was little and sometimes I fall down now, but David or Kris always pick me up. Sometimes Butter and Sparkles let them know when I fall. I'm getting better though. I can still dig for moles in their trails in the back yard. I even have a new really big friend named Pup. He is mostly white and has big ears like me. He is a wolf hybrid/pit bull mix, but I don't get to see him much. I still like to get under the covers at night. Most of my teeth are gone now. I can still see and I can still hear. I just want to sleep more now. And eat. Eat and sleep. Maybe play a little bit.
I think I see a bridge up ahead. It seems far away and there are a lot of colors there. I can't see that well because of the clouds, but it might be a rainbow.
I am not going there yet...