He Sang I Love You
Chapter 1
A Halloween Christmas
The most loyal being in my life, was born on Halloween, 2014. He was killed the day after The Fourth of July, 2021. He was 49 years old.
We called him,” The Amazing Chirottiweenie”! Titled this due to his breed, a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, and his coloring, which perfectly matched that of a Rottweiler. Born the runt of his litter, and tough from birth seemingly added to his huge Napoleon complex. He acted like he really WAS a Rottweiler for most of his life, and none of us thought to tell him any different.
He was our daughters dog, but all of us, were his people. And he was our dog, though so much more. He’d had the soul deeper and much more or equal to that of any pure souled human being. We loved him as much as any person that would be a part of your family…We were his pack.
“There is no such thing as a bad dog, only bad owners”, I’ve heard. That, in my opinion, is mostly true. But, there are such things as bad, even terrible, or evil dogs. Every species has this. Humans, canines, squirrel’s, fish- they all have it. Weather it’s due to a mental defect, or absolutely no conscious, basically a psychopath, it in fact happens.
Dogs that eat their own young, or attack other animals, or people once, then again, with no provocation, just for the kill and out of pure evil inside it. Dogs that had good gentle owners, and were loved, at first, but still turned on their masters, because they could. And once they did attack, or kill their intended target, they immediately went on to hunting the next.
This is what happened to Boomer This is a true story. This is Boomers story..
“Hey! Do you guys wanna come see the puppies!?”, Santa yelled at us from across the street.
“Awww!, Can we mom!?”, my 13 year old daughter, Ivy- Nickol asked, with of course, pleading puppy dogs eyes.
“No more dog’s,” her father, Ron said, though without much conviction. I could tell he was a bit interested, even though what he said was something we both had agreed on. We already had two dogs, both rescued from owners who were irresponsible, and had basically abandoned them.
“Hooligan”, was our Shepard/ Chow, mix, and my husband’s dog. He was a large, golden, playful dog, with wonderful manners. He would play fetch for hours untill the point we would have to hide his tennis balls, just so we could rest. He would actually drop his balls over our front fence for passing neighbors, and even some strangers to hopefully get them to toss it back over so he could fetch them.
We also had Lue-Lue, our 18 year old son, Ian’s, Scotti/Chihuahua mix. She was also a yellowish, but course haired, fuzzy little dog. We’d gotten her from Ron’s mother, who had gotten her from a neighbor who basically abandoned her. This woman had kept her kenneled almost ninety nine percent of the time, with hardly any food or water, attention, and no training of any kind.
“Can we please just look at them, Mom?”, Ivy asked again. “I don’t have a pet, and you guys all do!”, she pointed out, determined frown lines closing on her brows. Shaking my head, I sighed. “Ok, we can just look”, I said. I pretty much figured we were about to be talked into another dog by her, or “Santa”, our neighbor across the street.
Of course we’d nick-named him this for the obvious reasons. Due to his long white beard, wire rimmed glasses, twinkling eyes, and large round belly, it was fitting. His real name was Gary but we all just called him Santa and he always responded to this.
It was a week after Halloween, 2014, and the hot afternoon air in Phoenix, was barely beginning to hint at Fall. We’d only lived in our house for a few months, but in the neighborhood for a couple of years. We knew a lot of people in the neighborhood, as my daughter went to school one block away, and I usually had walked her everyday. It was an extremely rough and dangerous part of downtown Phoenix, but not all people are bad, so I’d always tried to be polite while in the neighborhood and meeting new people.
I also had recently gotten a job two houses down from ours at a local Circle K, and that of course insured I and my family knew most of the parents, as well as their kids from our neighborhood.
We’d met “Santa”, and his partner, Bonnie, right after we’d moved in, and occasionally, my husband Ron and I, would go across the street with a cup of coffee, and have a cigarette and a chat with them. Ron mostly, but occasionally I joined them.
About two weeks before Halloween, a little black, very pregnant, and obviously abandoned chiweenie dog, had wandered up to Santa and Bonnie’s apartment, and literally invited herself in and adopted them, and their apartment.
Bonnie, a large and slightly disabled, but soft spoken black woman, who was very active in her community church, and always trying to help those in need, humans or otherwise, knew they had to keep her. Especially with the little dog, so obviously ready to have a litter of puppies!
They named her, “Mamma-Dog”, and on Halloween, she had a litter of mixed-up different breeds, of four pups. One female, and three males. All were healthy, including the runt, who was extremely outsized by his siblings, but proved right away, his strength and determination to survive. He was always pushing over his siblings, while being as loud as possible, to reach his Mamma’s teat, for his share of milk.
Of course, we hadn’t heard all of this yet. Truth be told, all of us in our family of four, had a terrible soft spot for most animals in need, especially dogs. I’m pretty sure Gary had planned this wee encounter, banking on our weakness for canines.
“We’ll be right over!”, I hollered across the street to Santa.
I tossed the garden hose on the ground next to the trees I’d been watering, and walked in the front door to get my flip- flops. I’ve always hated wearing anything on my feet, usually going bare foot, unless it was necessary or required by law, or in this case, the pavement was too hot to run across.
“Where ‘ya going?”, Ian, my son asked me, pausing his video game while I was putting on my shoes. Lue-Lue, was sat curled up in his lap, her scruffy face cocked to one side, as if asking the same thing.
“We’re gonna go look at the puppies!”, Ivy excitedly responded to her brother.
“Yeah, you’re just looking, though”, Ron told her, and gave me a look that said the same. I think we both knew though, Ivy would probably get her way. She usually did.
I was interested thought, as well.
I was born in the mid West, and I’d lived on several farms and ranches, until I was ten and had moved to Phoenix.
My father was a farmer, and we’d always had dogs.
Not because my dad had loved or even liked animals, or even as a necessity, but because farms always had dogs. That’s what you were supposed to do.
I grew up, and from the first time I can remember, I’d loved animals. Not just dogs, but cats, horses, cows, chickens, deer, but any and all domestic, as well as all wild animals.
We’d always lived away from any town, and I could sit for quite awhile, just watching birds, or the cows in their pens, chewing their cud with their silly faces.
I’d always had a pet, as well. I’d gotten my first pet, an all white cat, on my fifth birthday, that I named “Milk”. I’d had many, many other pets throughout my 34 years. Some pets were just company. But a few, two or three, mostly dogs, had been hard to give up, or I’d shed a tear over losing, or they had died. But, even at a young age, I knew death was a part of life.
I’d learned to accept it, even if it hurt, and usually within a week or maybe two, I’d begin to heal and move on.
I’d passed my love for animals on to my children, as had their father. He may have said, No more pets, but Ron loved animals, especially dogs, just as much as the rest of our family.
The one thing we did agree on, neither one of us cared for smaller dogs. We both had always gravitated towards the larger breeds, my favorite being the Rottweiler, Ron loved Shepard’s.
Hooligan was pretty big, almost 60 pounds.
Lue-Lue, on the other hand, was a small breed, which was one of the reasons Ian loved her. He cuddled her endlessly, to which she needed, of course, and Ian became her person.
Ron and I didn’t hate Lue-Lue, but neither of us bonded or really cared too much for her.
Ian, and Lue-Lue were just fine with that.
“Can I come? Id like to see the puppies, too” Ian said, as he removed the dog from his lap to join us.
“Sure, why not. You wanna go to, babe?” I asked Ron as I stood to go out the door with the kids.
“I think I’ll pass”, he said, but his eyes were smiling as he watched the three of us head out, and across the street.
I watched as Ivy half skipped, half trotted across the street to the small two story apartments where Santa and Bonnie lived.
“Are you really gonna let her get a puppy, Mom?”, Ian asked as we walked together across the street.
“I guess. You and your dad and I all have a pet. Besides, she’s pretty responsible, and it’ll keep her from bringing any more strays home.”, I told him.
Awhile back, Ivy had brought home a kitten, after I’d had to give up two beloved cats. A mother and her disabled kitten, of which I had bonded with very much.
Ron, who had a severe allergy to cats, had tried to tolerate them, but in the end could not bear it. I’d had to give them up to a no kill shelter, my heart broken. About a week later, even knowing we couldn’t have a cat, she brought a tiny kitten home, hoping to keep it.
We didn’t of course, and Ivy had gotten a lecture about asking first, and who pays the bills, ECT.
“Oh, you came to see the puppies!” Bonnie’s deep voice boomed out from the apartment, as we all came to the door. Santa was sitting outside, smoking a cigarette, Bonnie was just coming to the door.
Bonnie was over 6 feet tall, with wide shoulders and hips, and had a loudly gentle, voice. Santa though, was barely 5”9, with a large rounded belly and long silver beard, and who had a soft raspy voice. They made quite the odd couple when seen together.
“Yes we did!”, Ivy replied, with excitement we all noticed, and shared a laugh at.
“Well”, Santa started, looking at Bonnie, “She had four. Three boys, and one girl. The girl’s already spoken for, so any of the boys are yours, if your mom says it’s ok.”, He raised his brows in question, looking from Ivy to me. Bonnie had disappeared into the apartment moments before, and was just returning to the open door, carrying what I thought was a pretty big box, for a litter of four pups who’s mother was a Chihuahua. I soon realized why.
Believe it or not, a female dog can have puppies in the same litter, who’s pups have different sires. This was what seemed to have happened with Mama- Dog.
Bonnie, followed by a small, anxious, Mamma-Dog close at her heels, set the large cardboard box down, just inside the door, and we could now see inside.
“Whoa!”, Exclaimed Ian in surprise at the four completely different looking and different sized pups, three of which were snuggled together quietly, while one, the obvious runt, was sprawled out on his back asleep, human style and with absolutely no dignity, seemingly having very vivid doggie dreams, for all the tiny grunts, yips, and wee growls that were issuing from his sleeping muzzle.
“Different daddies, huh?”, I said. Having grown up on farms, and having had several dogs during that time, I’d seen this before.
“AWWW!”, Ivy sighed, crouching down to get closer.
Mamma-Dog hopped over the side of the box, sniffing and nuzzling at her brood, making sure all was well. Satisfied, she curled around the little group of three, and gently lay down. She then started guiding the runt back to her side with her small black nose, until he was once again next to his brothers and sister, though with much vocal complaints.
She looked up with gentle black eyes, at all if us, very proud of what she had accomplished, expectant of praise it seemed.
Bonnie happily obliged, while stroking her.
“Yes, you’re a good Mamma-Dog, aren’t you?”, she crooned softly, while we all looked on.
“Can I hold one?”, Ivy asked, looking up at Gary, then Bonnie, and finally me.
“Do you think she’d let me? “, she asked hesitantly. I could see from her hands gripped under her chin that she could barely contain herself from reaching in for the little balls of fur. Mama dog just sat quietly and watched all of us beaming over her little ones seemingly unnerved by any of this.
“If you’re very, careful and gentle, and move slowly.. let Mama smell you.. and hold their bottom. “, Bonnie instructed her, helping her to slowly reach in for the biggest male pup.
Carefully, we all watched as Ivy carefully reached towards a silky, curly blond ball of sleeping puppy. They were only six days old, but this little guy was already as big as his tiny mother. His sire had been an obvious golden retriever.
Mama dog nuzzled her little boy gently, surprising all of us, as well as the pup, towards Ivy’s hands, as if telling him, “Wake up, we have visitors and you should say hello! “ Ivy lifted him out of the box, as Mama dog licked her hands and the waking pup.
“Awww… “, Ivy whispered softly, cuddling the pup to her chest. He didn’t make any complaints, just yawned and snuggled back, under her chin and along her neck. She began to rock him slowly, crooning to him, while the rest of us watched.
“Can I hold one, to?” , Ian asked Santa, as he slowly lowered his hand into the box, stroking Mama dogs tiny black head. She grunted, letting him scratch behind her ears, and get his scent. I briefly thought about Lue-Lues sent on him, and wondered how mama dog would react. If she was bothered she didn’t show it.
Santa chuckled.
“Ian, I think she’d be down right offended if you didn’t pick one of ‘em up! “, he responded. Bonnie and I laughed in agreement. I’d been around numerous new animal mom’s , and I couldn’t think of a prouder bitch than Mama dog was of her new pups.
Ian gently reached for the runt of the litter. His siblings were all at least three times larger than him. He was a carbon copy of his mama, black with tan face markings, tan feet and a white tipped tail, the exception of one small white spot on the back of his neck.
He'd managed to scoot away from his family who were all cuddled up together, at the other side of the box. There he was sprawled once again on his back, where he was obviously dreaming, his wee legs twitching, as miniscule grunts and yips issued quite loudly from his tiny mouth.
“Now that little bugger! “, Santa spoke to Ian as he went to scoop the runt into his hands.
“He’s the damnedest vocal pup I’ve ever heard in my life! All day, all night, he’s constantly making noise! Wakes me up at all hour’s with that nonsense! “, he exclaimed, his blue eyes sparkling with humor. As if to prove just that, the little guy sharply yipped, then began crying out loudly as Ian gently lifted him up and out of the box.
“Awww!”, Ivy again exclaimed at the pitiful cries the runt was making at being disturbed and handled by something foreign smelling, and not related.
“I wanna hold him! “, she cried, seemingly in tune with the pup.
Gently, yet swiftly she put the larger sibling back with Mama dog, excited for a turn with the crying wee dog.
“In a minute, Ivy! “, Ian exasperatedly told her. He nuzzled the pup to his cheek, cooing softly in baby talk, trying to hush the still yowling runt, who now was desperately attempting to engage in a full blown puppy hissy fit.
I laughed, reaching over Ivy’s impatient head, and grabbed the screeching pup’s scruff, between my index finger and thumb. That’s how tiny this runty brat was.
“Hey, Mom!, Be careful! You don’t want to hurt him! “, my son scolded me, as I lifted the suddenly quieted runt from his protective cradling arms.
“He’s just so tiny.. “, he trailed off, shutting up when he saw my scowl in his direction. He knew that I knew what I was doing.
In that moment, everyone realized that the runt had quieted his screeching to a single short cry when I’d pinched his neck skin. He let out one brief yip , his stout little body stiffened, his four paws, each no bigger than a dime pointed out in front of him, as I lifted him through the air slowly, out of Ian’s arms, over Ivy’s kneeling frame, and cradled him in my arms. He made two or three tiny grunts, and lifted his head, sniffing, his blind eyes moving behind their lids. Softly, I blew into his nose, letting him catch my scent. Again, I repeated this, until his grunts stopped.
“ Little bugger! He’s just playing possum. “, I stated firmly.
“He’s gonna be a good dog for whomever gets him. “, I said matter of factly. Gently, I lifted him up again by the scruff, and handled him to my daughter’s outstretched arms. She immediately began nuzzling him, and softly blew into his nose as I had. He grunted, then let out a huge snuffing noise, startling himself and Ivy. She giggled, bringing him up to her face, holding him around his milk fattened belly with both hands, and put her nose right up to his. Slowly, and gently she blew into his tiny barely opened nostrils, colored black with a light tan patch.
The runt grunted softly lifting his tiny head up, his little legs kicking oddly in the air, the two of them sharing each other’s breath.
“ You have puppy breath! “, Ivy said, smiling and crooning. She continued talking to him, while the pup grunted and yipped softly back. They we’re having they’re own little conversation.
Gently, she set him back in the box with Mama dog and siblings. Immediately, the runt started climbing and bullying his tiny body over his much larger brother, who’s father had obviously been a retriever. She absently stroked them both, and let out a big sigh.
“ I don’t know which one to pick! “, Ivy moaned softly, her brow creased in deep thought. She watched the pups, all awake and wrestling each other to get a share of the early evening dinner.
Mama Dog, patiently nuzzled each pup into a good position for their share, little grunts, and sharp indignant barks came most vocally from the runt, who for him getting his share, was like climbing over great hills, as he struggled over and under his siblings.
“Well, if your mom says you can have one, we’ll set him aside, “, Bonnie told her, though she was looking at me. I sighed. I had just started my job at the store, and bills were extremely tight. Ron had lost a great job he’d had for almost nine years, when the company where he worked was suddenly bought out by another. They’d held onto only a few of the employees that had worked with Ron, but fired most of the others, retaining their employees over them.
Ron had worked and held his position for three months longer, before the company decided his position didn’t need more than their companies original employees, and fired him.
It had been a rough time, and he hadn’t found work, since then, and unemployment was only paying him $94 dollars a month. It would be very tight, but I looked at my daughter, watching the little pups, and I couldn’t say no.
Both of my kids were pretty responsible. They did their chores, with the usual teenager disgust, and homework and were good kids. For the neighborhood they’d grown up in, they hadn’t gotten into trouble, and were respectful of others. I was proud of them. And again, Ivy didn’t have a pet of her own.

“Well, If it were me, I think that little runt is gonna be a damned good dog to whomever gets him”, I told her. I heard a chuckle, and looked over at my son who was giving me a look, smiling like he had already known what I was going to do in the first place.
“Shut up, you!” , I playfully scolded him, throwing a wildly missed arm slap in his direction.
“I can have one!? Really?”, Ivy screeched, surprised. Her green eyes sparkled with excitement as she looked up at me, so very hopeful.
I sighed , smiling at her.

“Yes, Ivy, you can! “, I told her. Her dad wasn’t going to be to pleased. But I knew he wouldn’t be mad either. We’d work it out.
“So, which one are you going to pick, Ivy? “ Ian asked his sister, and kneeling down beside her, they both looked into the now quietly feeding litter of pups. The runt was again, on his back spread eagle, and snoozing away. Tiny grunts coming from his mouth.
“Oh… I don’t know!... “, she whispered quietly. She reached into the box, gently petting the large golden haired pup. He barely moved just curled his paws a bit, and continued sleeping.
She then used one finger, and ran it up the runts exposed belly. His wee mouth opened, a very tiny “owlll”, sound escaped it, almost a howl. We all waited for her answer.
“I think,.. I think I’m going to take this one”, she said, once again lifting the fat pup up gently, cuddling it to her chin. I was surprised at her choice. I really thought she’d have picked the other dog, but here, seeing them together, I saw love.

© M.E.Purdy