In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.” Life is a movie reel of moments in constant motion with new scenes added every second.
Pictures allow us to capture a single moment to honor, adore, and remind us of the special events that have shaped into our lives. I love pictures for the single fact that I can see where I have been and who took the journey with me. Before 2009 most of my pictures were of my niece, the kids I worked with and my pugs. I had a boy pug and a girl pug. The boy was fawn that I named Cappucino and the girl was black and I named her Expresso. I stumbled upon the name Cappucino in December 1996 when I had adopted a little male pug. He was tiny enough to fit inside my flannel shirt pocket with the energy of a Jack Russell Terrier. My husband and I married just 7 months earlier in a grand wedding celebration. We’d honeymooned in Europe then moved into a very nice apartment in New York. The building had an underground garage, a swanky lobby, with a beautiful park like setting behind the building. Most of the residents were young married couples like us with a few singles. We were so fortunate to get the top floor corner unit which meant we only shared a few walls. The two of us worked long hours and our schedules conflicted at times making it a struggle to spend time together where one wasn’t leaving while the other was just coming in. I really longed for my family since they had moved to Florida after the wedding. Getting a puppy was my solution and it had worked wonders and led to a pug dynasty. I loved coffee, I mean I really loved coffee and happened to make the comment while staring down at my little puglet “he looks like a cup of cappuccino.” Cappucino started the pugaholic illness that my family and I have and can’t seem to shake. A few years later when I moved to Florida, built a house and thought it was a good time to give Cappucino a little brother or sister is when we found Expresso. She was a puppy mill pug, lighter weight than most pugs with longer legs needing serious dental work but we loved her anyway. I made sure to spell their names differently from the standard way, not that people would mistake them for Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. They were my babies and I treated them as if they were. They dressed up for holidays, birthdays, and parties, you name it just like my friends children except for the two extra legs and curly tails. Cappucino had shirts, polo’s, sweatshirts, bowties, jackets, raincoats and even pajamas. Expresso had a couture wardrobe with matching necklaces. I seriously needed a kid because these poor dogs were treated like humans although they didn’t seem to mind. I was that “crazy dog lady” who would die alone in her house with 100 pugs and honestly I was fine with that. Even my license plate was “pugmama” just proving that I had a bad case of pugfever. I still have pug fever but it’s managed with 1 pug named Rocky, no I didn’t name him, and my son Jacob. Jacob entered my program in August 2009 and I was immediately connected to him. He didn’t speak to me or anyone else, he wasn’t sweet, quite the opposite and he wasn’t easy to be around. However unlike everyone that came before me I saw something inside of him and was determined to get it out. Within 6 weeks he trusted me enough to allow himself to udder a few words even if they were only to me. It was a long 6 weeks of crying, kicking, scratching, and headaches but I never gave up. Once he realized I wasn’t giving in we unlocked a kind, loving, and smart boy who wanted to please more than anything in the world. Once the holidays rolled around he had let his walls completely down, worked his rear off and solidified his bond with me forever. He may have known it at this time but I hadn’t even realized what was happening. Besides my pugs the kids I worked with were my passion, the reason I woke up every morning and the food that fueled my body. My kids which is what I called all the kids I had the honor of working with meant everything to me and I would do anything for them. I made myself available 24/7. So when Jacob was going to be moved to a different foster home that would remove him from my program I fought everyone to stop it. Nothing was going to get in the way and take one of my babies from me. This wasn’t the first time nor would it be the last time that I put my career or self on the line for my babies. I guess I had the mama bear instinct without realizing it. On February 14, 2009 I brought “Jacob” home to live with me while a foster home within the city could be located. I was called “a volunteer nonrelative care giver” as well as Ms. Landau. He and I were together all the time from when the alarm clock buzzed that awful sound until I set it all over again. I became an instant mom on our first night together when he lost a tooth. I remember calling my mother to inquire about the right and wrong way of handling the “tooth fairy” tradition. Since then we have had so many moments captured with pictures watching him grow from a sad, insecure and lonely child into a happy, proud and very much loved young man. I tell him all the time that “families aren’t always made that sometimes they are chosen and we chose one another.” He was born from my heart.