Smallest puppies have biggest hearts

Smallest+puppies+have+biggest+hearts

I always knew my family was bigger than your average nuclear family. I am the oldest of four children who live in the same house as both of my parents along with our three dogs, one cat and two fish.
What I didn’t know was that my mother, who is the most caring person you’ll meet, was planning on adding to our family.
On Thursday, I came home from work to the typical stampede of dogs desperately pawing at my legs, trying to lick me to say hello.
The usual culprits were there – Katy, our senile, old black lab; Nike, our chubby, long-haired Chihuahua; and Nilla, his cream-colored, perky-eared sister.
Even our cat, Smokey, came to greet me for some reason. He slunk by as gracefully as a fat cat under the influence of catnip could. He gave me one of his typical sassy looks that are dripping with attitude and sashayed out of sight.
The sea of dogs parted and out came a petite, little, brown-and-white-splotched Chihuahua puppy that I had never seen before. She timidly walked up to me, sniffed my shoe, looked up at me and started wagging her little tail.
I couldn’t help but smile at the dog, even though I was surprised to see her there.
I knelt down to pick her up as my mother came into the kitchen cooing at her and trying to dress her in a pink, knitted puppy sweater.
My mother said she rescued Phoebe from the local Humane Society. Phoebe was signed over to the shelter after her previous owners neglected to take care of her obvious medical needs.
It was nothing immediately life-threatening – Phoebe had a bad case of fleas that resulted in a bad skin rash. They refused to seek medical help for her though, which I don’t understand.
How can you look into this innocent puppy’s sweet little eyes and not want to make sure she isn’t hurting or uncomfortable?
She is healthy and very happy now, settling into our home and getting used to its craziness.
She’s a very friendly little dog and is really good with all of my mom’s day care kids. She likes to growl and nip at our other dogs, but I suspect it’s because they’re still strangers to her.
Nike and Nilla still aren’t too sure about Phoebe – they keep their distance and get extremely jealous of her when she lays in one of our laps. They like to growl at her as well, but they’re slowly beginning to warm up.
Phoebe is a spunky little girl who loves to give you hugs and kisses and lay her little face on your chest as you hold her.
While I was a little apprehensive at first, I’ve already grown to love this little ball of affection.
My family definitely did not need another animal in our crazy, hectic house, but they’re always welcome.
Besides, she doesn’t take up much space – she’s fully grown and she only weighs 4.5 pounds. She’s a forever puppy.

 
SAMANTHA GRISWOLD
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