Growing up, I didn’t have any pets.  Actually, I take that back.  When I was in junior high school I had some goldfish. I accidentally killed them; however, my sister didn’t see it that way.  For a week, she called me a murderer because I overfed them or something and they died.  Whoops!

I didn’t get a dog until after I graduated college.  In 2001, I was living with my first boyfriend.  We decided to get a pitbull.  My boyfriend at that time knew of a breeder in his hometown.  We bought a blond pitbull and named him Rocco.  Rocco was the cutest puppy ever.  He had big floppy ears and loved to chase his tail.  Rocco was full of energy and life; however, we knew he needed a companion.  A year later I told my boyfriend that I wanted a Chihuahua.  I scoured the papers looking for one when I came across and add selling Chihuahuas for $75. 

Today, I would never buy a dog from a breeder.  I would get the dog from a shelter; however, I was looking for something more specific and the Shelters in the area did not have any Chihuahuas for me to adopt.  I answered an ad and my boyfriend took me to the breeder’s house.  She lived in St. Louis City and not in a very good location.  The breeder had three puppies left.  I picked up the small multi-colored black, brown and white puppy.  I feel in love with her immediately and bought her right on the spot.

My ex-boyfriend knew that she wasn’t a Chihuahua, but I think he knew that I didn’t care. We think she was a Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mix,  but to this day we still aren’t sure. We named my dog Loco.  I know the correct name for her should have been Loca, but I thought it was cute to have the dogs’s names match.  So Loco and Rocco were their names.  When she was a puppy, Loco fit in the palm of my hand.  She never grew more than 13 lbs.  Even though she was small, she was a very active dog.  She could go on long walks and hikes, no problem.  Even though she was energetic, she also was very laid backed.

Sadly, though, my first boyfriend and I broke up.  There was no way that I could have taken care of Rocco.  He had grown into a 75 lb dog.  His tail was like a whip and would hurt if you got to close.  Even though Rocco was a loyal dog, his energy was just too great for me to maintain.  So he went with my ex-boyfriend.  Luckily, Ihad Loco to keep me company.

If you ask my friends, most of them would say that Loco was a crazy dog.  She barked wildly at people upon meeting them.  I remember one time she got out of the house.  A grandmother was walking her grandchild in the park by my house.  Loco spotted them an immediately charged at them.  The woman screamed, scooped up her grandchild and had her on top of her head.  We quickly got Loco, but it was definitely a sight to be seen. 

She was only crazy around strangers.  Once she got to know you, though, she was your friend for life.  Many nights we sat around watching tv together.  But her favorite activity was playing fetch.  She loved it when I would throw her toy down the stairs and she would run down them, grab the toy and bring it back up to me.  Also, we loved to flip her on her back.  She was never scared or mad, but loved the attention she recieved.  I definitely spoiled my dog.  She had plenty of treats and toys, but she deserved it.  My parents called her Paris after Paris Hilton because she was acted like a princess.  They even bought her a pink collar with “diamonds” on it. 

On December 10, 2008, I had to put Loco down.  It was the saddest and hardest day of my life.  Loco got really, really sick and there was nothing I could do to help her.  I took her at 1 a.m. to the emergency animal hospital in Mesa.  At 4:00 a.m. I called my boyfriend and together we were in the room as the vet euthanized her.  I knew it was the right thing to do, but it was so hard to let her go. 

To this day, I sometimes cry because I miss her so much.  We spent six years together.  She helped me through two break-ups and a move out to Arizona.  She put up with me when I dressed her up for Halloween.  Throughout the years, she was a witch, princess, bat, lady bug and skunk.  We would dance together to our favorite tunes.  And we loved to hike.  Loco has hiked Pichacho Peak and South Mountain.  I also loved to let her off her leash when no one was around and she would run around the field by my house.  She would run so far and fast.  It was truly a sight to see.  We had so many good times together, so it’s hard to accept the fact that she’s gone.

One day I will get another dog.  I know that even though I had to put her down, I did the right thing.  She was suffering and I could not bear for her to suffer anymore.  I sometimes tell myself that I would never put myself through this again.  But a good friend reminded me that a pets purpose is to bring happiness to your life.  Yes, it’s unfortunate to have to lose your “best friend,” but it’s reality when you own a pet.  For Loco’s legacy, I will always remember the good times we shared and I feel confident that she is in a much better place.  I plan to get another dog next year and I would love to find a dog just like Loco.