A Truibute to Guapo, The Cutest Puppy Dog on Earth
I met him on the internet. I was searching for a toy poodle and when I stumbled across Guapo’s picture, I was immediately smitten. You know how it is with Internet Love. Distance is no object. I didn’t let the fact that he was from Lexington, Kentucky and I lived in the suburbs of Chicago stand between us. True love knows no bounds.
I was a corporate travel agent at the time, and one of the perks of my job was free airline tickets for exceeding goals. Of course, those tickets had massive restrictions attached and were difficult to use for popular destinations. Lextington, Kentucky was not terribly popular, so I booked my flight and set off to meet the puppy love of my life.
I had never, ever seen a puppy so adorable! He was what’s known as a “phantom poodle,” although he outgrew that color scheme and became varying shades of gray (not 50!). With a 6 pound Mom and a 2-1/2 pound, teacup Dad, Guapo was a wee little thing, not much bigger than a hamster. After being thoroughly searched at the airport (come on!), we boarded the plane. I didn’t have heart to leave him, frightened and whimpering, in the littler carrier under the seat, so I discreetly snuck him onto my lap and covered him with my jacket. An eagle-eyed flight attendant wasn’t fooled, though, and asked me, “Ma’am, do you have your little dog under that jacket?” I made a sad face and nodded slightly, lifting my jacket to reveal my dark secret. The flight attendant’s face melted into an expression of pure adoration, and with a wave of his hand he said, “Awww, you’re okay. Never mind!”
The name “Guapo” means “handsome” in Spanish, but I also called him “Baby Angel.” He was smart, cute and loving. He grew up with his big brother, Ozzy, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge a couple of years ago. They were the best of buddies. I adored them both, but tiny Guapo was my baby, since my other babies just had to go and grow up on me! He was an intelligent, intuitive little guy, and very human-like.
Everywhere we went, anyone who met Guapo fell instantly in love. In public places, people often asked to take his picture, and everyone wanted to pet him.
Guapo lived in four different states with us, and joined us on several airplane rides and many road trips. He loved going for a ride on my Vespa! He and his brother, Ozzy, were also avid campers and would become incredibly excited when they saw us packing up the gear, tap-dancing while their little heads whipped back and forth between each other and the joyful sight of Mom and Dad packing the camper.
In 2014, Guapo had sudden, extreme difficulty breathing, and long story short, he wound up having surgery for lung torsion. That’s a rare, very life-threatening situation where a dog’s lung twists around, cutting off the blood supply to the lung lobe. Few dogs even survive that type of surgery, but my Baby Angel Guapo did, earning him the nickname “Miracle Dog” at the vet’s office.
As sometimes happens with toy breeds, Guapo eventually developed collapsing trachea. It can be controlled to a degree with medication and lifestyle changes, but I think Guapo’s case was complicated by his previous lung surgery.
Just hours after a visit to the vet, who had determined that Guapo was also developing heart failure and prescribed water pills, my Baby Angel just relaxed in my arms as I sang the song I made up especially for him (Sung to the tune of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”):
He’s the most wonderful dog in the world, he’s a beautiful poodle, he’s my little noodle, and I love him so! He’s the most wonderful dog that I know!
And he was.
I will always love you, Baby Angel! See you at the Rainbow Bridge!