This is a picture of myself at age eleven with my dog Nugget. She was a cocker Spaniel at less than a year old when this picture was taken over Halloween of 89. Unfortunately she only lived an unexpected short life of nine in a half year’s. During the nine in a half years she did bring a lot of happiness into our home. She was the sweetest, most warm blooded and caring pet I ever did own.
When I was ten year’s old, I started to ask my parent’s if we could get a dog. They would usually say that two cat’s is enough. Then finally I was able to talk them into getting a puppy. We started looking around and I had my heart set on getting a Beagle. One night while we were looking around at one of the pet store’s, my attention was immediately grabbed by the two most playful and most adorable little puppies I ever did see before in my life. I walked over to where they were and would start to baby talk to them like us silly humans do to our animal’s, and they would both respond to me with such unmatched cuteness from any other animal.
We got the attention of one of the people who worked there so that we could play with the two puppies in the play room that they had at that particular pet store for people who would want to “try there pets out” for potential buyers. Both puppies were so cute and so much fun to play with, they were very playful. My heart was so set, they were both sisters and the only two in the litter of there mother. My parents wanted to take me and my brother out to eat at a fast food place to think about it before they actually bought one of them. I was actually really ticked off at leaving them even for a minute because I was so afraid that the next person who see’s them were going to buy them instead of us. I would have been heart broken if that had happened.
When we came back to the pet store, we had to decide which of the two we wanted because my parent’s would not buy both of them. That was a very hard decision since they were both identical in personality and everything. My dad said that he noticed something wrong with one of them that could be a health problem, so we decided on getting the other one.
While we were there, my parents bought the first bag of puppy food, a dog brush, and some other things that the person working there thought we should have. On the way home we are trying to think of what to name our new puppy. I keep coming up with these off the wall tropical island names like, key largo, montigo, kokomo, bahama, etc etc. All names off that Beach Boy’s tune from the late 80’s. Weird huh? But I was only ten year’s old we all did silly things like that! Then as we were still trying to decide on a name, my mind wonder’s off into the game of childrens trivia pursuit that my Aunt Sandy, brother, and myself were playing some night before then. One of the questions in that game was for the answer, “Nugget”. I thought it sounded cool for a cute puppy name, so I just blurted that out and right away everyone liked it, and lo and behold that is how we came up with our puppies name. I named her!
We come home now with our newest addition to the family, right away our new puppy is exploring this unknown territory, and in a very cute playful way. I remember her playfully running from room to room, pausing in each room to look around, occasionally letting out a small whimper because she was adjusting to a new environment, and she probably missed her sister. That was hard having them both split up like that. I will never forget her sister also. All four of us were very happy about the new pet. I would talk about her at school all the time and bring in pictures and so on and so fourth. For the most part she was my dog, I’m the one that wanted her to begin with, I’m the one who named her, I took care of her, I played with her all the time, and I was the one she would follow around more than anyone else.
In the late spring, of 93, nugget is about four, we decide to have our Nugget have a litter of puppies. The people next door own a male Cocker Spaniel, so that worked out perfect. I had never seen dogs mate before so this was a totally new experience for me. I mean, I have seen stuff on t.v. and so on, but that is not even close. I had no idea about locking up and stuff like that. I nearly freaked out the first time they locked up. I yelled for my mom to call the vet, when she did the vet told her everything was fine and then my mom explained to me what was happening. Our other next door neighbor came outside and also informed us on what was going on. He said, “what, do you think they just stop when there done and roll on there backs and wag there tails?” My mother and I both said, “well yes!” Nugget was very uneasy about mating with Max.(the male dog) But slowly she would get into it and enjoy it later on. We had them lock up about ten or eleven times Id say, to make sure that she got pregnant. When they would lock up, it would last for about ten or fifteen minutes and nugget would be whimpering and slightly barking in pain, but it would get easier in time. That is one reason why I started to freak out the first time, cause I could see she was in pain and she wouldn’t stop barking. I didn’t know what to do so I just yelled to my mom. Eventually she did get pregnant and had a litter of only two puppies, must run in the family because that is a small litter to have.
The neighbors dog just recently had a litter of I think eleven puppies, she was a black lab. Nugget had a boy and a girl. I videotaped the birth while my dad was helping nugget to deliver them. Before nugget had her puppies my dad and I built this amazing little doggie bed made out of wood with walls high enough so that the puppies would not be able to leave there, and nugget would be able to go in and out as she pleased. As soon as the puppies were big enough to get out we destroyed it and just put nuggets regular doggie bed back and added another one. The boy puppy that we named Bubba we gave to my cousin who badly wanted one after about six weeks. The female one we kept, and named Sandy. My dad came up with both names. Later on my cousin renamed the boy one to O.J. Nugget was a wonderful mom to her puppies, cared for them so much, and also trusted us to handle them.
Nugget continues to bring us so much joy into our house with her ever so warm personality. Nugget, since the birth of her puppies, isn’t as playful anymore and never lost all her weight, was still just as enjoyable to have around the house and there will never be another dog like her ever again.
One day before I’m headed off to work at Sam’s Club, I notice Nugget is not feeling very good. I’m not thinking anything of it because every so often she would get sick and throw up and she would be just fine again. Before I leave, I take our two dogs out to go potty, and when I let them in, Nugget is hardly able to make it up the porch steps and is very sluggishly walking into the kitchen where her bed is. Her head is down, eyes half shut, I can see her sides going in and out like she is about ready to have a heart attack or something. When she got to her bed and layed down she looked up at me because I had froze in my tracks and really looked at her and started to baby talk to her asking her what is wrong and stuff like that. I had to get my butt to work or I would be late, so I could not stay there. I really didn’t think anything of it because she had been really sick before and she always would get over it again. But this time I was a little bit more worried I must admit.
After i got to work I didn’t even think about her all day long till I got back home. I walk in the door, both my parents are teary eyed waiting for me in the kitchen and Nugget is not there to greet me at the door like she always is when I first get home. My dad looks up at me and says, “Tom, put your things away and come right back there is something we have to tell you.” I paused for a second and just said, nugget died didn’t she? They both nodded yes and my mom broke out into tears. I go and put my stuff away and when I come back into the kitchen my dad tells me that he already buried her and to not go into the backyard to dig her back up so you can see her again for yourself. I wouldn’t have done that, but I did want to be the one to have buried her.
My dad told me when he came home from work that day, he went to open the door and he could just barely see nugget there blocking the doorway from opening. He pushed the door a little harder and told nugget to come on and move out of the way. Nugget did not budge and my dad at that point realized something was wrong. when he got the door open he reached down for Nugget and felt that she was already cold, and starting to stiffen up, so she was obviously dead and had been for a while at that point. She must have died shortly after I left for work. She was in her bed last I saw her as I was walking out the door for work. From there she walked over to the doorway which is across the kitchen, and died. Her daughter still locked in the same room with her now dead mother.
My dad picked up nugget and got one of our next door neighbor’s to help him bury Nugget in the backyard. Later on that day, Sandy went into my dads room and peed on his bed. Sandy saw my dad leave with her mother, and saw him return without her, so we are guessing sandy peed in his bed out of anger that she lost her mom.
The rest of the day for all of us was very hard. I kept blaming myself partially because I wasn’t there for her, instead I just had to go to my precious job. The biggest reason I was sad was because I feared that nugget died without knowing we all loved her so much because of how she could see how I could see she was very sick that day. It killed me to think that she might have felt abandoned when she needed us the most, and no one was there. Now a days, I know that is not true, we all gave that dog so much attention and she loved every moment of it. I was actually able to get some sleep the night of the day she died.
When I woke up the next morning, thank god it was my off day from work. It really hit me that she was gone forever. She was not there to greet me when I open my bedroom door, she was no longer there anymore to follow me around. When I would do my hair or brush my teeth, or play my guitar in my room, she was not there at the foot of my bed watching me with her puppy dog eyes. I didn’t have her to grab and to cuddle with anymore at any given time, or any time at all anymore. Id never get to see her wag her tail when she wanted to play, or when she was about to get a doggie treat. I would never get to see her and her daughter play together anymore or go outside. Id never get to see the cats hiss at her every time she would walk by one of them…lol… Id never get to look into her big brown eyes ever again and baby talk to her. She is gone forever and nothing can be done about it.
I broke down in tears, I was playing my guitar in my room when it hit me that hard and I started crying so hard that I put down my instrument and buried my face into my hands as the tears rolled down my face. My Nugget was so precious to me I could not stand the thought of never having any of those little and big experiences anymore.
My mom was there to offer comfort as I cried my eyes out. After she left my room I shut my door and just continued crying and sitting there doing nothing but missing the heck out of my dog.
Later on I was invited to go to the dog track with my parents and my aunt and uncle to help take my mind off it. I went along and won a couple hundred dollars that night but I was still miserable. Eventually I was ok, after a week or so I slowly came back to my old self. It was like loosing a person when I lost that dog.
Now we have her daughter, and my cousin has her son. They are both still alive and well. Sandy and O.J both have very distinctive personalities on there own. But there mother was truly the sweetest and warmest of them all. I love nuggets two puppies dearly and the one I own I take very special care of. She is really a good dog and does take after a lot of her mothers traits. I hope you enjoyed reading this true story about my Nugget.