He came to us at the perfect time for me, tucked into a normal shipment that I picked up from the Tampa Airport but I didn’t really pay him any attention until I got back to the store and unloaded carriers.
It was weird that I was so taken by him as he was really not my type. I didn’t care much for the yappers, but this one was special.
I think it truly must have been the timing of it all.
Something weird happened when I got pregnant with my first child. Basically, I lost all my friends. I was sort of the freak who suddenly found herself having nothing in common with anybody since I could no longer do drugs and drink and party all night. My phone stopped ringing and no one ever came to the door anymore. Dean was away at college and I was unadmittedly lonely. It was a bad time to be lonely.
But then, I unloaded the crate at work one day and when nothing walked out of the back of it, I peeked my nose in. There was a small blanket, that I could see, but sticking out from under the blanket were the very top tufts of two ears and they were shaking uncontrollably.
I reached in a pulled the lump out, blankie and all and when I unwrapped him, I was instantly annoyed to find that it was a chihuahua puppy, this one a fawn colored long hair that must have weighed about 6 ounces. He was so tiny that he wouldn’t have been but a chilly nipple in my bra and he was scared to death, just shaking like mad.
It took about an hour and I was in love with him. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was the first face he saw or what, but he clung to me and I needed him to cling to me. It made me feel necessary but it became a reverse situation where I clung to him just as badly. I needed him.
His name was Ojos, promptly named by the girl who was dumb enough to name the animals and get to know them. I named him this because of the gigantic eyeballs that stood out on his tiny face that would look at me and tell me every single thing I needed to hear. Those eyes that spoke words and were never silent unless I needed them to be.
Ojos was with us for a very long time and it might have been my fault…. I’m not sure. Regardless, there wasn’t really anywhere that either of us wanted to be unless it was together. He was my only friend and I was his and I talked to him about everything under the sun. Ojos knew my deepest secrets, secrets no one else knows. I was pregnant and this tiny animal is probably the reason that I knew how to love my child so much when he was born. He was the reason I was calm and unafraid of being a young mother and he was the reason that I didn’t lose my mind during that pregnancy.
I had the perfect friend, one that never judged me, bitched, complained about me…. one who was always there to listen and give me reassurance. He made me laugh and he valued me.
This was all so fucking important at that time.Really. I would have fallen apart.
No one could understand why Ojos never got a home because he was really very cute and silly and sweet all at once. He never barked unless he saw me with another dog. His jealousy was awesome and I loved it. I was jealous right back, though, and if another employee was spotted with my dog, I’d feel insane.
I know why Ojos never found a home.
Someone was selfishly deterring people from taking him. Someone would see a customer smiling at him and playing with him and would come over and pretend to give Ojos a dose of medicine to clear up the imaginary coccidia the person claimed Ojos had. Someone was telling people that Ojos had health problems and was yappy and uncontrollable. Someone claimed that Ojos had bitten a kid.
My only defense is that I couldn’t say goodbye…. not yet. None of those people were good enough. When Ojos went home, it would be to the best fucking family on the planet. Until then, he had me and I had him.
Dean fell for Ojos quickly. He also knew that I was screening homes and not letting people take him. He wasn’t mad, either, even though he knew that selling Ojos meant another hundred bucks on my paycheck in commissions and would have been an easy sale.
Fuck a hundred dollars. We were happy, him spending his days trotting after me in the store, often swiping squeaky toys from the shelves, me breaking rules by giving him pig ears, tossing balls up the aisles just so I could laugh at the way he took off after him, ears flapping, butt end going just a tad faster than the front and often tripping him up. Dean would stand there and laugh because Ojos always looked like he was running sideways.
People really liked Ojos until they would find out he was sick. But one day, a couple came in. They spoke spanish and not much english and another employee was with them as they enquired about Ojos. The man was all thugged out and had on a shitload of jewelry. The woman was dressed like a hooker. He looked like a Columbian druglord and I went ballistic. He had gold teeth. I instantly judged him.
I excused the other employee and started my speech about Ojos being a big, sick, pain in the ass but nothing I was saying was deterring these people. The girl obviously wanted the dog badly and the guy intended to give him to her. I could see that Ojos was soon to end up in an ugly dog purse dressed in obnoxious clothing with a big, flashy collar on his neck being toted around all day by a Columbian druglord’s wife of the week.
They insisted they take the dog. I tried to stop them. They continued to insist and an argument blew up where I finally informed them that the dog was not for sale. They were outraged and I didn’t care. I stubbornly stood there with Ojos protectively tucked into my arms defiantly refusing to let them take him. In the end, a huge commotion broke out and I burst into tears and took the dog away to the backroom. The people were pissed and left.
A couple of days later, I came into work after a day off and Ojos was gone.
One of the other employees had sold him to the Columbian druglord while I was gone. She did it because I had sent her home one day for arriving to work two minutes late and then docked her pay. I admit that this was fucked up of me, especially considering that I was known for being incredibly laid back with the staff and was loved by all of them except her. She didn’t like me because every single time she was nasty with another employee, I sent her home and docked her pay. We really hated each other and I found it was easier to be understaffed than to deal with her. I sent her home a lot.
And to spite me, she sent my dog to go live with the druglord.When I yelled at her for it she said, “Hey, business is business.”
I didn’t make any friends after that and I never saw Ojos again. I never saw the employee again, either, as she was suddenly fired when I counted her drawer and it came up “short”. She took my only friend, my sanity, my laughs… for a hundred dollars. It was the last hundred dollars she made. She took my friend, I took her job.
“Business is business,” I told her as I shut the door in her face.