About an hour later, he showed up with a large bundle in his arms. The icy wind swept in and took my breath away as I struggled to close the door. I took the bundle from him and sat on the floor as I carefully unwrapped, what one would have thought, was a priceless piece of glass. Layer after layer removed, I finally reached a shaking blonde puppy. He turned his blocky head up towards me and seemed to thank me; he knew he was safe. I removed him completely from his swaddling and began to take notes of his condition. He was calm, but terrified. He was muddy and wet from the snow, his belly extended, and the look of abandonment in his eyes was unmistakable; he didn’t seem to be physically injured though. I knew right away his breed. His wide face and stocky build was no doubt that of a pit bull terrier.
After a few weeks of vet checks and medication, he was cleared to resume normal puppy-hood. My fiancé knew better than to argue with me about the dogs I brought home; he never won and it was pointless. We were afraid to get too attached and didn’t name him until we knew he was going to pull through. So we officially welcomed him home with his new name, Kimbo. Kimbo was our first pet as a couple, our first “kid”. He was a tough, male pup that was undoubtedly a momma’s boy from the start. He was potty trained in our tiny 500 square foot apartment within a few weeks and he was always so well behaved. It was as though he knew that I had saved him from the end that his siblings suffered. His great behavior was him showing me his appreciation and love.
Kimbo always had such a sweet manner to him. No matter how big he got, he was always the first to curl up in my lap at the end of the day. At night, he slept as close to me as he could get, with his head on my chest. I still remember his hot breath on my neck night after night. He would snore so loudly, but I didn’t care. He was my baby. Over the years he was a ring bearer in our wedding, walked into our first home with us, and even helped welcome a new baby. There was nothing we did without Kimbo.
I shared the love and companionship of my baby for only a short year and a half. It was July, the day before our son’s first birthday. We put Kimbo out in his kennel like we always do, and set out to enjoy a day at the lake. It was something that we normally would’ve taken Kimbo with us to, but there was no room in the car with family and friends joining us. He seemed to understand though, as he found his spot in the shade and fell asleep. Coming back was a whole different story. As I opened the back door, expecting his usual barking excitement, he lay still beside the kennel gate. My heart sank and I knew something was wrong. I slowly walked towards him, calling his name over and over; maybe didn’t hear me. I opened the gate and his lifeless body fell with…