The Fuzzy Baby

My oldest baby is 13 ½ years old going on 94. He’s got a bit of a shedding problem too.


Now that he’s getting older it seems like he’s reverting back to his early years – medications for ear infections, having accidents indoors where Mommy’s gotta clean up the poop, wanting to play with the big kids but his body can’t quite keep up.


He has become a bit a problem child with lots of issues despite his pedigree and raising, but a mother’s love is unconditional.


He is my fuzzy baby, my first born “child”, and I love my yellow lab Kyber with all my mother’s heart.


Even with his little incontinence problem leaving me tootsie roll surprises in my den.


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My girlfriend called me last night choked with tears about having to let go of her aging fuzzy baby. I was just the mother she knew would understand. We still fondly remembered the days of introducing our young boys to each other, them sniffing each others butts before running off to play.


Our dogs were our first taste of parenthood.


We were young, eager couples ready to expand our families. There were the sleepless nights of a restless and crying newborn.  The need for constant supervision and attention, feeding and bathing. The frustrations and rewards of potty training them, teaching them manners and skills, raising them to be family members we were proud of.


And now our fuzzy babies were as much a part of our expanded family as the ones we birthed ourselves.


I listened as she explained how devastated her family was to lose one of its members. My heart ached for her loss and for the loss I knew was in our near future. But when she started to apologize for the buckets of tears she had shed over a dog, I stopped her.


“It doesn’t matter if it’s your first born child or a dog that was like your first born,” I told my friend. “When you’ve loved them with all your heart and taken care of them for their lifetime, it still hurts the same when you have to say good-bye.”


We visited a little longer, talking about our children before the conversation ended with us smiling over her fuzzy baby’s most memorable trait.


“Do any of your other children have ears as soft as Phoenix’s?”

With love Amy, to your first born fuzzy baby, Phoenix.

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