Pluto was truly “one in a million.” He had the most wonderful personality, loved everyone – people and animal – and was so sweet. I always called him my little angel because he was just so good! And he and his twin brother Pogo were just about the cutest dogs you’ve ever seen.
My husband Jeff and I went to a puppy match in 1995 because we had two Bostons. After the show, I asked one of the exhibitors if she had any male puppies for sale. She said, “Just the little ten-month-old who kept watching himself in the mirror.” (The match was held in a dance studio, so there were mirrors to the floor.) I asked the breeder if I could see the dog, and she put him in my arms. He looked up at me; I looked down at him and fell in love. My husband and I were going out of town for a few days, so the breeder kept him for us. When we got back home, we went to pick him up way out in the country. When we pulled up, the little pup was watching for us and ran to us like he knew we were there to take him home.
When we got Pluto home, he made instant friends with 11-year-old Penguin and 1-year-old Pepsi. (We had already picked out Pluto’s name and had told the breeder to call him that. She kept calling him Pogo, instead…..hence, that’s how his brother got his name.)
We had been told by the breeder that Pluto had a twin brother, who was currently on the show circuit. We found him at a breeder in Indiana. We spoke to the breeder, who promised us that we could buy Pluto’s brother as soon as she had finished his championship. So, in 1996, we drove to Indiana and picked up Pluto’s twin brother Pogo.
When we came home with Pogo, he and Pluto greeted each other like long-lost brothers, which they were, of course. It was as if they knew they were brothers, even though they hadn’t been together more than a few weeks after they were born.
Pogo – our champion and our bully! He loved to boss the other boys around. Even though he was the smallest, except for Pluto who was a pound lighter, Pogo always let everyone know who was in charge.
The first night Pogo was home with us, he sacked out next to me and went right to sleep. I think he figured out that he was meant to be with us. Pogo was such a licker; he loved to lick my face, my feet, my arms. Each night I went to sleep with some part of me covered in Pogo kisses. Pluto was a licker, too, but he mostly licked Pogo.
At the end of the year 2000, Jeff and I bought a cottage in Wisconsin, about five hours from our Illinois home. We traveled often to the cottage, sometimes just for a weekend. All the boys traveled well; however, Pluto absolutely loved the trips more than anyone else. He would stand in his crate and look out the windows almost the entire five hours.
Whenever Jeff and I would get ready to go somewhere, we would put the boys in their crates. Pluto would either go stand by the front door in hopes that he could tag along or else he would hide so that we couldn’t find him.
Because we live on the water, we like to take our dogs on our boat and swimming. Pluto and Pogo both hated the water. As soon as we took them in, they would start swimming as fast as they could towards shore. But they looked really adorable in their life jackets.
Pluto and Pogo both liked to dress up. Pogo was often cold; so in the winter he wore a sweater most of the time. Whenever I put a sweater on Pogo, Pluto would come over and nudge me so that I would dress him, too. He also liked to wear neckerchiefs in the summer.
Pluto loved to be massaged. He’d sit on my lap as I rubbed his head, his shoulders, his back. If I stopped, Pluto would turn his head around and look at me as if to ask, “What’s the problem; why are you stopping?”
Unfortunately, at age eight Pogo’s health started to deteriorate. He had irritable bowel syndrome and was constantly on medication and a special diet. The disease would get better for awhile, then return. When he turned twelve, his illness worsened and progressed into inflammatory bowel disease; and Pogo started having multiple seizures. They increased and caused brain damage. We did all we could for him, but on December 19, 2006, we couldn’t watch him suffer any longer. The vet euthanized Pogo as we held him and told him we would love him forever and that he would always be our champion.
Unbelievably, six weeks to the day later, on January 30, 2007, we lost Pluto. After Pogo died, Pluto was having trouble eating because he had lost so many teeth; so we started giving him the soft pouch food. Other than his teeth, Pluto seemed in perfect health. Suddenly, his stomach was distended; so we took him to the vet who told us he had advanced liver failure. (We’re not sure but, coincidentally, two weeks later the pouches were part of that massive dog food recall in February; so we think that contributed to or caused his sudden illness.) We immediately tried everything the vet and a specialist she consulted could think of to do. Five days later, we had to make the agonizing decision to have Pluto euthanized. We held him and told him we would love him forever and that he was one in a million.
Pluto’s and Pogo’s ashes are permanently sealed in engraved copper-coated zinc urns in our breakfront, surrounded by their collars and tags, photos, sympathy cards, and other memorabilia. The vet shaved a little hair from Pluto’s leg to get to the vein, so I saved it and wear it in a locket around my neck. The twins are also memorialized on our license plates: “Pluto 1” on our Porsche Boxster and “Pogo 1” on our Cadillac.
Pluto and Pogo, our precious twins, we will never forget you.