Since I started this project, it seemed only fair that Agatha and I go first. That's us up there. She was a puppy. So was I. I was sick.
She may have been a little dog, but from when I was five through seventeen, Agatha was a great big part of my world. I'm an only child; she was my other – meaning she wasn't really a sibling, she wasn't really a friend, she wasn't really my own little baby, she was all three. Her favorite snack: cat poop. Her second favorite snack: kid fingers (including my cousin Caitlin's). She slept on my bed and, the neighbors would tell us, she howled when we were gone. She was feisty and funny and loyal. She once ate an entire bag of pancake mix from under the Christmas tree. She didn't move for three days, but was, miraculously, fine.
Most memorably to my parents and me, she proved a fine substitute for a horse – a tall order (literally) for a Scottish Terrier. Growing up in New York City, my little-girl dreams of waking up to a horse grazing in my pasture were dashed young and hard. So I trained Agatha to be my horse. She would run from one end of our house to the other and jump over my outstretched legs the way Laura's horse Bunny cleared logs on Little House on the Prairie. I will never forget what she looked like airborne.