Toffee by Betsy Hawkins / Your last Mommy

I was looking for a dog for 6 months on-line that would be a companion and kindred spirit for Coco. I felt the right dog would be a small white toy poodle. Then one night a shelter in Longview, Wa posted a picture of you standing on a wicker chair. You did not look very comfortable. I can still see the picture in my mind. I read your story. They said your owners dropped you off because they did not want to care for you anymore. They did not give your name but only said they called you “ugly” and you were over 10 years old. Some people are just in a place in their lives when the stress and events around them prevent
them from seeing ANGELS.

I am so glad they brought you to the shelter. I Love You, Toffee. Maybe my continuous looking on line for a small white toy poodle effected the outcome and prompted your previous home to bring you to a place where I could find you. We were meant to be together.

Stephanie skipped school that day to go with me to adopt you. We loaded Coco in the van with a cover and some water for the 3-hour drive and stopped at Starbucks for a venti Toffee Nut Frappacino. I told Stephanie while we were driving that I must be planning on bringing you home because I wouldn’t drive all that way to just look. This was a big decision for me. Somehow it felt right from the start. I thought Stephanie and I would probably spend the whole way there thinking of the right name for you. I told Stephanie we should probably choose a name that ended in “ee” sound so that it would be different from Coco. She took a sip from her coffee and said, “How about “Toffee.” I liked the name. It seemed to fit. So Toffee it would be.

In the shelter you were in a little doggie bed in a small room behind a ladies desk curled up sleeping. They said you were too fragile to be in a cage with the other dogs. She picked you up and handed you to me, you were trembling uncontrollably. Poor sweet heart. And you were so little, so scared, so sweet and gracious for the uncertainty and loss you were going through. I Love You, Toffee. We gave them their $75, signed some papers and there we were. You were mine. I was SO happy
to walk out with you.

You loved Coco. His attention was your your biggest desire. Coco couldn’t handle it at first. He would get up and move out of the way. But eventually he let you lay against him. Sometimes you would sit on his head. Or you would lay against his stomach and he would spoon you. So sweet. You felt protected when you were close to Coco. Your new big brother Coco healed your lonely heart.

You had to have the rest of your teeth pulled after we got you. I’m sorry, baby. The vet said many of them fell out. But I loved hand feeding you. And I would soften milk bones in water for you to enjoy, too. I don’t think you could hear well either. I’m sorry for that too. But I know you could hear my heart telling you how much I adored you.

Toffee, I miss the way you would walk around the apartment. I miss hearing your little toe nails clicking on the kitchen floor. I’m crying as I write this. You would come up and stand next to me while I was washing dishes. Just standing there very silently and sweetly, liking the closeness. I am sorry for the times I didn’t see
you down there.

I miss you walking to the bathroom doorway when I was brushing my teeth at night. I would lay down on the floor so we were eye level and gently put my hands on your shoulders to give you a hug, and ever so lightly kiss your sweet little head. I wanted to show that I would always be kind to you. You were always pleased and would trot back to the living room – sometimes coming back again
for more attention.

Remember the day we got in the van and I put you down on the soft brown covers that were on the seat? They were so soft and puffy you fell over – and were so comfortable that you closed your eyes and drifted off to sleep. You looked so sweet. It’s great when you find the perfect comfortable position and let yourself enjoy it. Your eyes would peak open once in a while and then close again as the van shook and we went over the bumbs in the road. Heaven.

I miss the way you looked at me out of the corner of your eyes. I loved the way your eyes twinkled when you looked at your self in the mirror. You liked looking in the mirror. A familiar face. I cherish those moments when I held you for an instant in my arms spontaneously like a baby, and you looked up at me remembering a loving memory
from your distant past.

You gave me a million laughs the way you would run back and forth from the kitchen to the papasan pillow. Sometimes you would bounce or pounce on the covers, so full of joy. On many occasions in the middle of the night when it was dark and we were going to bed, you would decide to start running around. It was so cute. I would get up and turn on the lights for you.

You liked the vacuum cleaner. You didn’t mind standing right next to it. I would call you and Coco “brave little toasters.” When I picked up the papasan pillow and all the covers and put them on the sofa so I could sweep the living room, you waited patiently and very intently for me to finish and put them back. I would never take that spot from you, Toffee. You loved it there and it is yours forever.

Once when you were at work with me and feeling pretty good, I walked around the office lobby behind you gently holding your tail in a horizontal position to remind you to work on keeping it up. You mostly kept your tail tucked in, I think from habit and previous circumstances. I also liked to gently wag it side to side for you to remember happy times and to encourage you to experience them again. You didn’t mind at all. In fact, I think you were smiling when we were at the office and I was following you around. When I let go, you would try to keep it up. You understood what we were doing.

I miss you, Toff. I miss our daily walks in the park with Coco and how you wanted to run all the way home pulling on your leash for us to hurry. (Those soft covers were waiting!!) I miss carrying you in my arms up and down the stairs and in and out of the van. I miss hearing you drink from your water bowl and the sweet sound you made when you yawned. I miss sinking my face into your soft white curls and taking a deep breath. I miss everything about you. “Can I call you sweetheart,
I’m in love with you…”

We only got to keep you, my little Toffee-angel, for a year and 5 months. How my world shattered when you were gone… I wanted to keep you forever baby, I had so many plans. My pretty little boy… Thank you for coming into our lives. I will never be the same again – you live on in my heart. Be happy my little Tofferson. Run and play until we are together again. And visit me often for I need to feel you close to me.


Betsy Hawkins