My Bitter

Strange name for a dog. His actual name is Li’l Bit, or Little Bit if you prefer.

He’s a Shi-poo, or a Shih-Tzu Poodle… if you prefer.

I got Bit on October 2nd, 2007. He was exactly 8 weeks old. I had just moved into my first apartment on January 3rd, 2007 and my mom and grandmother felt I needed a furry companion. Now that I have him, I couldn’t agree more. My grandmother, whom everyone calls “Mimi” – that’s Jenny’s fault (thank you for setting the trend) – went with me to check out this advertisement in the Nerk (Newark) Advocate. I saw an ad for shi-poos and I was kind of stoked.

Mimi and I

My mom, Mimi and I had gone to pick out the pup, Kozy, that I’d grown up with from 3rd grade to just a few years ago. Rather, Kozy had picked me out. He was named after my grandparents best friends, the Koziers. That, and my grandpa “Krackaw,” (another Jenny-ism) had stuck his head out of the RV to look at our new friend who was snug on the backseat arm rest. Krackaw said he looked cozy; voila! He was the greatest, quietest, most playful Bishon Frise ever. It saddened me so much to see him get older, more frail, and eventually less able to function. Mimi quickly moved on to two Shih-Tzus named Honey and Shadow, but she frequently reminises about how great Kozy was; we all do.

I had called Mimi from the college after I saw the ad for Shi-poos. Mimi could tell I was excited and said she’d go with me when I asked. We were on the way and Mimi said to me, “now, we don’t have to take the first one we see.” What did we do? We took the first one we saw. This little black and white ball of fluff scampered with his brothers and sisters in the yard at the breeder’s house. The house was nice, and the breeder said she’d had many litters before, so I felt confident that the little ones were healthy. I met the mother, a white toy poodle, and the father, a brown Shih-Tzu from Taiwan, I think. Could have been Thailand.

Itter Bitter at 8 weeks

I got down on my knees to see which one would stick around. Tiny puppies, no bigger than my hand, bounced from one end of the yard to the other. They rolled over each other and chewed on each other’s ears. But one kept coming back and playing with me, the little black and white ball of fluff.

We paid the breeder, she gave us his vet records, and Mimi and I got in my car with our new bundle of fun. The first thing we did was name him. Mimi got a look in her eye and said, “what about Little Bit?”

That was my nickname from Krackaw, but I was willing to let this cuteness have it. I said sure. Mimi was surprised that I’d agreed to it, but I thought it was a good idea.

The first thing we did was drop by the dollar store and pick up some pee pads. We just knew he’d be a little squirt; we were right. He did really well though. Within the first month to six weeks, he was pretty well housebroken, except for when I got lazy and didn’t notice his quirky signs.

Bit's first night; Mimi, Shadow, & Bit

My mom was in Pennsylvania visiting her sister, my aunt Susan, in September. The trip was only supposed to last about a week or so, but she ended up staying longer. Mimi and I told her about Little Bit right away, but it was a few days or so before she officially came back to Ohio and met her grand-doggy. Yes, I said it. Aunt Sue came home for Christmas and she got to meet him for the first time. Bit was a little wary of her at first, but he quickly warmed up to her. Everyone, including me, was absolutely smitten with this little raggamuffin.

At the time, I was hesitant because he was tiny at 8 weeks old and I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. Also, it’s difficult to let the little guy go for an eight hour shift. I worked at Zales in the Idiot Mound Mall in Heath. I’d had to drive from my apartment on one side of Newark to the other to drop Bit off at my grandmother’s, sometimes early in the morning. Then, I would drive to Heath for however long my shift was.

I’d dated a guy for a month before I got Bit. The guy was alright, but I knew it wasn’t going to really go anywhere. Eventually, I called it off altogether. Then, through wonderful happenstance, I met Howard. Howard isn’t the small dog type; his parents have always had big hunting dogs. But the tiny little face with the black lower lip was just too cute to stay cold to.

Precious Moments Bit

I mean really, just look at that face.

He’s got these li’l teeth that stick out in an underbite too.

I used to feel bad because I lived in an apartment complex. Bit would have to wait for me to take him out to do his thing and go for a walk. Here, at my new location, Bit gets to run around with his new partner in crime, Churchill, whom I’ll introduce later. Bit and Church get to run around the fenced in property; so much more freedom here than at the apartment.

Without a doubt, Bit has been the best pup ever. I miss Kozy dearly, but he got to be with a family that adored his little antics, like running from the couch to the door and back a million times when someone would come to the door. He was loved and is still loved with all our “remember when” moments.

I’ll update occasionally with pics of Bit and Churchill in my blog. I hope you’ll comment on the pics and blogs and tell me about your pups and blogs.

These little or large companions are the best things that could have ever happened to humans. They can tell when we’re sick, sad, or just need some fur to run our hands through. They also love us despite our miscommunication, misunderstandings, and misguided attempts to make them more human than they seem to be to us. Bit, in a sense, is my first child. I don’t have kids of my own; I don’t know what it’s like to raise anything that doesn’t bark.

I’m reminded of a quote that I see often. “The more I learn about humans, the more I like my dog.”

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