This is Willie, my fur-st born (see what I did there? Wordplay!). The picture above sums up a lot of things about Willie. He's spoiled as can be, as in I actually bought this float thinking he could use it in the pool. And then was very disappointed it had a hole too big for him in it. It is also a unicorn, which is basically what this little man is. I can't explain his fabulousness, and I swear it isn't just me that is obsessed with him. At my old boutique, he had fans that would come in and immediately leave if he wasn't in store that day. Willie basically lives his best life every single freaking day. A life that most humans would enjoy, by the way.
The little man came into my life by accident. I was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina after my college graduation freak out flee when my sister emailed me pictures of the two puppies she had bought. Susie was lonely in Colorado while doing an internship, and had seen two dachshund puppies in a pet store. When she went back to buy them as a birthday present to herself, they had been taken home and a fuzzy white Pomeranian puppy was in their place. Susie fell in love with the Pom and then his little funny looking friend popped up. The friend was my sweet Willie, and Susie couldn't leave him!
I mean, who could leave those faces? Ever creative, Susie named them Willie and Nelson respectively (as she found it hysterical when the vet would call and say "Willie and Nelson have a vet appointment.") Willie was quite the little jerk to poor Susie, who was working her tail off in a PR internship. I remember her calling me and yelling to Willie in the distance, "Go ahead! Eat the rock! I don't care anymore!" He ran from her, ate through multiple Mac laptop cords (before the Apple stores were as ubiquitous as they are now), and peed on everything.
Despite his annoying habits, he's a hard dog not to fall in love with. While still living in Argentina, I seem to have fallen in love with him. My sister loves to remind me that this exchange happened:
I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but it is too cute not to share. I've always been a sucker for dogs with funny ears and eyebrows. (Who am I kidding, I am a sucker for all dogs).
I got back from Argentina in late October 2007, and went on a November trip to Colorado to help my sister bring the puppies back to Kentucky for Thanksgiving. At this point, she had found homes for both of them beginning in December. As Susie has told me, when I met Willie it was instant. He declared, "I shall call you Mommy and you shall be mine!" and I was a goner. Susie swears that she left me on the couch with Willie laying on my chest and I hadn't moved when she got back. This is probably true.
Susie smirked at me throughout the airport as I proudly showed Willie off and informed people he was a papillon and that means butterfly in French. We came home for Thanksgiving and on Black Friday 2007, Susie came in to the living room to find me with Willie in his favorite spot - my chest. She leaned over and said, "So, Willie's home fell through." I immediately sat up, cradled his tiny body to me and said, "No, it didn't!! He's mine!!" She then declared, "Happy Early Birthday!" (My birthday is in mid-December). She likes to remind me every year that she shouldn't have to get me a birthday present, as she has already gifted me Willie.
My obsession with the little gremlin only grew. I had already booked a flight with him back to Colorado, so off we went. Then he and I flew back to Louisville, to begin our life together. I interviewed for a position in DC and got it, living there for 2 weeks in transitional housing to find a home for us. I remember calling my mom every day to get an update on my sweet angel. We found a place in DC and called it home for 8 months, flying back and forth to Louisville quite often. Willie became a pseudo-celeb on US Airways, with the usual flight crew approaching me and saying, "We saw your name on the manifest! Is Willie with you??" He even got to do flight service with a dog lady flight attendant on a particularly empty flight!
Next month, we celebrate Willie's 10th birthday! I am planning quite the bash, because what kind of crazy dog mom would I be if we didn't celebrate a decade of Willie?
Oh, and naturally he has his own bow-tie filled instagram. Follow him @lilwilliestyle !