Before we knew Juno she was the mother in a puppy mill, living in a barn producing one litter after another. I bet she had the cutest puppies as she was a Yorkie with beautiful colouring. When her fertility waned as she got older, she was no longer wanted for breeding so they dumped her out on a country road. Fortunately she found a place to hide from the cold wet May day in our friend's breezeway. And that is how Juno eventually found her way to our home and hearts.
She was a brave little dog. When Juno came to us her teeth were in terrible shape. I had to brush them every night to try and improve her dental health and she was patient and stoical about it. One night she cried in pain when I was rubbing her under her jaw and when I took her to the vet she said that many of her teeth were very loose and just barely hanging in her mouth and had to be extracted. I never got a good look in her mouth so I hadn't realized this, but Juno had let me brush her teeth anyway. It must have hurt her a lot. She was like that - very stoical about any pain or discomfort.
She was a fearless little dog. Juno was entirely unaware that she only weighed 8lbs. On our walks when she wanted to go in one direction and we wanted to go in another she would throw her whole body into letting us know her decision leaning way over and digging her little paws in. It was quite a sight to see.
She also was not intimidated by other dogs, no matter the size. Not having been socialized as a young dog she usually growled at other dogs when we went for walks and we could never break her of this habit. The funny thing was that the amount of growling and barking seemed almost in inverse relationship to the size of the other dog. She always had the "I can totally take you and win" attitude with the big dogs.
When she first came to us she had never been outside or walked on a leash and she had no idea what to do. We had to train her to walk together with us and at first she would look up at the leash and be surprised to see it still there. Once she learned how to go for walks she discovered a whole new world out there and that was her favourite thing to do. She loved sniffing things and exploring and watching people.
She learned other things after coming to live with us too. Over the course of our daily walks, she learned the streets and parks in our neighbourhood so she knew which way to go when it was time to go home. She also learned how to be held. When we first got her she was stiff as a board in our arms and would try and stand on you, but she eventually learned to melt into our arms when she was being held, especially with my husband.
She had a very impassive face, but was oh so expressive with her ears and the way she would cock her head and her stance. I always loved the colour of her coat and how she matched the dry leaves on the road at the cottage.
She loved to change things up and constantly had new places she liked to sleep. Sometimes they were the strangest places you could imagine - like deep in our closet on the shoe rack, buried so far back that you could hardly find her. Other times she liked to sleep in our laundry basket or in a bin filled with papers or in the suitcase you were packing and, of course, best of all on the pillows on our bed. We have many photos of her sleeping in random places.
I know this post has been photo overload, but I wanted to put all my favourite pictures of Juno in one place. I love the photos where she looks small - because although she was a tiny dog, her personality was big so you would forget she was tiny unless you saw her from a distance.
Those of you with pets can attest to that bond that forms between you and the little furry beast who lives with you. We had a wonderful five years and nine months with our little dog Juno and I'm thankful for the joy she brought us and grateful that we were able to give her a happy retirement.