Today is my fur kid’s Adoption Birthday. Frites came into my life on March 16, 2013; I thought he was two but a vet visit let me know he was only a one year old puppy. I went to the Humane Society just to look and ask questions, and I left with a homely little thing who was scared of men, had hip damage, dreadlocks, and peed when anyone new entered a room. (Very annoyingly, “a room” could even mean an elevator and at the time I lived on the 6th floor of an apartment building so you can imagine I dealt with many an elevator accident.)
A pure bred Shih Tzu who was gifted to a family with a number of small children and an abusive dad/boyfriend. The Humane Society people told me the kids mentioned spinning him like a helicopter on his leash and the dad being incredibly impatient and angry with the dog, often throwing him around… cue hip injury. His past owners named him “Free” (I’m not sure if that was before or after they decided to get rid of him) and he was responsive to the name, plus some digging revealed that Shih Tzus respond well to the long E sound, so I decided to name him Frites… an homage to my love of the French language (and French fries.)
I write all this to say, he was my original baby. Before him I was an incredibly heavy sleeper, and after? I’m the lightest sleeper ever. I instantly became a “mom” and learned to listen for my first child at all times. He’s been through so much of life with me and he prepared me to be a mom for a human baby. Yes, the connection is different, and human babies require more… but I will forever be grateful for the introduction to motherhood he gave me. What a blessing the last 10 years with Frites has been. Though we don’t know his actual birthday, I also say it’s today so he is my big 11 year old.
For all the reasons above, I have made a concerted effort to include Frites in most things even since Baby E’s arrival. If we are taking family pictures, he is included. If there’s a holiday where gifting typically happens, he gets gifts as well. I understand that people get busy with their human babies and forget to spend as much time with their animals, but I hope this post serves as a reminder to all those who became fur moms and dads first, that our pets are the original babies and they’ve taught us so much. Treat them like the family member that they are!
Happy Birthday, Frites. Our family loves you dearly… even when you make yourself throw up to prove a point (a truly talented 13 lb little guy.) 🙂 Enjoy the pictures below from over the years…