It was Mom who decided she wanted to have a
little dog share our family.  In the end, it was
Grandma who really bonded with Princess.

A friend of Mom who worked with her told her
about a neighbor who had a litter of brand-new
Chihuahua puppies.  One Sunday she talked me
into riding the bus into downtown Detroit with her
to see the pups.  We arrived at the lady's house
to find 3 pups in a playpen.  Two of the puppies
were breeding and show quality and much too
expensive for us.  Then there was little Princess.  
Princess was the runt of the litter with bad teeth,
a crooked mouth, and much too small for
breeding.  So the lady just wanted to get rid of
her cheap.  Mom paid $30 for her, but she was
worth every penny.

Again, it was Grandma who bonded the closest
with Princess.  Mom worked all day and I was in
school.  I was also a teenager at this point and had
a life of my own, so to speak.  I still tried to
spend at least one day of the weekend with Mom
and Grandma.

I had just turned 16 and enrolled in the local high
school driver training program.  I had to attend
classes 3 nights a week.  The object here was to
have at least one person in the family that could
drive in case of emergency.  After Grandpa died,
the bus became our only means of transportation.  
Mom felt someone should be able to drive because
Grandma was getting older and the bus was too
much for her to handle, especially in the Winter.  

I had to walk about 2 miles to attend these
classes.  Every night Mom and Grandma would
walk up to meet me after school so I wouldn't
have to walk home in the dark all alone.  And
every night Princess would come along in the
pocket of Grandma's coat.

After I did learn to drive and got my license,
Mom got me my first car.  It was a 1964 silver
Pontiac Catalina.  After this we started going for
family outings on Sunday just like we did when
Grandpa was with us.  On at least one Saturday a
month, we would visit Grandpa's grave at the
Woodmere Cemetery.  Princess enjoyed the walks
in the cemetery.  

Then on one Sunday we drove to Patton Park, a
local park not far from where we lived in
Southwest Detroit.  Princess, of course, came
along.  There was a small lake in the park that we
would always walk around.  Princess was so busy
chasing a butterfly that she ended up running into
the lake.  We fished her out with no problem
because the lake was not even a foot deep at that
point.  When we got home we noticed a bite mark
of some kind on her leg.  It became infected and
we took her to the vet a day or so later.  The vet
bandaged it after putting ointment on it and said
we should leave her there overnight so he could
check it again first thing in the morning.  Without
thinking, Mom and Grandma agreed.  She didn't
know that Princess would be sleeping on a cold
cement cage floor overnight.  Here was a dog used
to sleeping under the blankets on someone's bed.  
When she was released the next day, Princess had
a cold.  The cold turned into pneumonia.  
Everything that we could do for her we did, but
the pneumonia took its toll.  Princess died one
night in Grandma's arms.  I don't believe I ever
saw Grandma cry like she did holding the lifeless
little body, even when Grandpa died.

I think Grandma blamed herself for allowing
Princess to spend the night at the vet's office.  I
think the lesson learned here was to always get all
the details of what type of accommodations are
provided if a pet has to spend the night
somewhere.  A healthy pet just being boarded
somewhere can handle a lot more than a frail, sick
pet that needs warmth and attention.  In cases
like this, the pet is better off at home.
This is Princess, doing what she
did best.  
This is Princess and me - again
doing what she did best.
This is Mom and Princess.  
This is Mom and Princess again.