Smalls is my first born. That seems so weird to say about a dog but it is true. I treated him like my kid. I took him all over the place. I got him when he was 9 weeks and I joked with people that he had enough frequent flier miles for a free ticket. He is a beagle. I named him after the lead character in the movie, "The Sandlot". There was a kid who's last name was Smalls and he was just a little dorky. In one scene he didn't know who the "great bambino" was so the other kids said, "You're killing me, Smalls." When I first got him, he was so cute with his super long ears and his cute little eyes I kept saying, "You are killing me, Smalls."
He has lived with me everywhere...Colorado, SF, back to CO, New York City, LA and now Park City. I actually think he really loved NYC. He could find a chicken bone a mile away. It is amazing how many chicken bones there are on the streets of NY. One time I looked down and he had a whole raw chicken in his mouth. Not kidding, a whole raw chicken. I had to pry that thing out of his mouth. I think I might have puked. But you know what, NY is good to dogs.
It wasn't just the chicken bones that got smalls in trouble. He is almost 14 years old now and he is Nortorious Smalls. He is infamous. He has had his stomach pumped at least 6 times in his life and 3 of them have been in the last 4 years. He has eaten moldy ribs, an entire chicken carcus, and some unidentified meat that was BAD. The ladies at the vet know him all too well. People really seem to like him a lot. They are always saying, "Oh, how is little Smallsy doing?"
Little do they know that if they had anything from an edemame shell to a filet he would chomp their fingers off. He is actually Houdini at times. One time he got up on the 4 foot high counter to get an apple cake. The craziest part about it is there were hardly any crumbs. He must have knocked it off perfectly. It landed without spilling. The only way we knew it was gone was that his stomach looked like he swallowed a basketball. I later found a ball of the uneaten cake under our bed. There are a million stories of Smalls stealing food. And even at 13 and 15/16 years of age he can still get up on the counter for something good, like my dad's beef jerky.
But the sad thing is that Smalls is getting old. He is deaf and almost blind. His kidney's are failing and he has a leaky faucet. But he loves us so much. He follows me wherever I go. He could have just made his way up the stairs and sat down at my feet and if I got up to quickly run into our bedroom and he would follow me. He beats to his own drum. He barks when he wants our food which is every meal except breakfast. He steals food out of the kids hands. He escapes out of the yard almost daily. But I will miss him. He is my first born. Since the kids have been in my life, I haven't had as much time for Smalls. I am sure he feels like he has gotten the shaft. But he means so much to me and I want to try to give him more attention in his final years. I owe him that and more. He has been with me through 6 moves, one divorce and one break-up. He slept right next to my pregnant belly when my husband was in Europe skiing. He is right at my feet as I am typing this, snoring like a drunken sailer and stinking like a dirty diaper but I will love him forever and always.