Our Little Joe came to us in October 2004, just a couple of weeks prior to our 5th year wedding anniversary. He was the tiniest little thing. It’s hard to believe that he was small enough at one time to sit inside a mug. At first it took some getting used to having such a small creature around. We were always worried about stepping on him because he wanted to be so close. When you looked for him you would never find him until it dawned on you to look straight down at your feet. He would sneak in to our standing shower when you were in there, undeterred by the droplets of water sprinkling his face. That was just the beginning of him being unfazed by things that would otherwise bother most pets. I will always remember his lack of fear and reaction to the riding lawn mower. He would sit, unmoving, eyes squinting and head ever so slightly averted, as grass flew and the mower moved very close along the side of him. As we saw what was happening, it was shocking, scary and funny all at the same time. It was like he was holding his ground and wouldn’t budge – such a character, all 10 lbs of him!
I will miss him lying outside our door waiting for me to come from work. He would wait patiently for as long as it took until I finally appeared and then he would stand up and bark excitedly as I got closer. I will miss his enthusiasm and desire to join me in whatever I was doing. He would ride along with me in the car to do errands and I would bring him in to places where he was allowed. Everyone knows him where we live. He’s that smart little black dog, never on a leash, riding politely with everyone else in the elevator and knowing what floor was his. Some people even had their own name for him like Tuxedo and Chico. He loved the company of other dogs and made many friends including, Gizmo, Toby, Josh, Lucy, Bella, Sophie, Spencer, Scrappy, Harvey, Brodie and "Frank's dogs" (i.e. all Golden Retrievers).
I loved holding him and snuggling him. I know that he was annoyed when I would be too much in his face but I couldn’t help it and I don’t think he held it against me. Like the sweet dog he was he just put up with my fussing over him. From a very young age he let me put clothes on him. I would dress him as you would a human baby, putting him on his back on the floor and then carefully bending his legs to fit in the sleeves of his hoodie. Then I’d turn him right side up and most times he wouldn’t move from that position until I coaxed him to move forward. He didn’t really like most of his clothes but there was one black t-shirt that he never seemed to mind. When the weather was cold, especially in the winter, he loved to travel tucked in to Chris' warm coat. If you didn't readily invite him in he would paw at you until you zipped down your coat and gave him access to back himself in.
Little Joe went everywhere we went. Vacations, parties, weddings, funerals, it didn’t matter. Little Joe was always part of the adventure. We enjoyed him immensely and took great pleasure at seeing him so happy. He enjoyed many activities including car, truck, bicycle and motorcycle rides, visits to Petsmart, walks, parks, hiking trails, boating and fishing. He loved his cookies (dinner) of course, most especially carrots, apples, chicken, hamburger, steak and ice cream. Life was better and sweeter because he was there. It was our pleasure to look after him and make sure he was always comfortable and safe.
It's true, at times he would get a little overzealous with his barking but it was his way of letting you know he was there, listening and that he wanted your attention. To me his voice was the sweetest sound of all.
I love you my Little Joe.
You are my heart and my joy.
Thank you for always loving and trusting us.
Petula & Chris