He entered my life as “Squirt,” the last in a litter of puppies to narrowly escape death.

Weighing in at a mere 4 pounds and just over 3 months old, the tan and white terrier-pug mix, long-legged with jutting hip bones, was rescued from drowning along with his siblings, having been deemed unsellable by the breeder. I loved him the minute I saw him.

A college student at the time and living alone, he was the first dog that was solely mine, and sat wrapped in a blanket as my dad drove us home from the adoption site. An art education major at the time, I named him Picasso.

Twelve years later, Picasso was once again bundled in my lap, my dad behind the wheel, when he took his last breath.

Picasso and I were attached from the start. Speckled on his tummy, with a prominent chest and toenails in alternating colors of black and white, he had the glossy, wide eyes of a pug, the feisty disposition of a terrier and a penchant for hibernating in piles of blankets.

The first night, he crawled under the covers, and, terrified he would suffocate, I tented the top sheet with a book. I soon discovered he was happiest cloaked in layers, including sweaters in the fall and winter months — no dog has ever looked so stylish in an argyle hoodie. …continue reading this story on La Crosse Tribune

Source: La Crosse Tribune