Tango is my first dog. He's the one on the left, a Shih-Tzu, and we got him when he was eight weeks old. I was against the idea of getting a dog, at first. I was nervous about the responsibility. But eventually I melted. He was so tiny, a little fluffball, and boy, were we nervous. I remember grouting late into the night because we were afraid that his little claws might get stuck in some of the holes in the old grout between the tiles in the kitchen. We crate-trained him, as had been suggested by our breeder. That first night was very difficult, as he howled his loneliness into the bedroom and through our hearts. He lives with my ex, now, but I make sure to visit often. When I first walk in the door, he goes bananas until I bend down and let him lick my face like an ice-cream cone. Elections, debt ceilings, past due bills, car troubles -- these mean nothing to him. His stock-in-trade is love. I remember the mornings I would sit with him quietly on my lap, looking out into the rising dawn. Everyone who meets him loves him, including, apparently, the puppy girl cozying up to him in the picture. But he'll always be my little guy. There's nothing like first love.
Image source: Courtesy Tango's Mom