A look back at Violet Pig Simpson’s first three years
By Rachel Simpson
Joni Mitchell rather famously warned us that we don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone. Not wanting to fall victim to the perils of under-appreciation, we’ve decided to take this month to look back at our first three years with little Violet. Now, Violet isn’t going anywhere, and we are quite thrilled at owning the only immortal Frenchie; but even still, it’s nice to take stock of just what a character we brought home that June day three years ago, and how she’s enriched our lives.
Some people—mostly those without kids—will tell you that having a puppy is a sort of preparation for having a baby. They’re wrong. A puppy is almost nothing like a baby; for starters, all puppies are cute, while, if we’re being honest, most babies are cute only to those expecting to love them. There are some similarities though: both function better on a schedule while showing little regard for when and where their body, uh, “functions”, and both become dearer to you the longer you have them. The last one is the one that matters: we were told that Violet was the terror of the litter—and we were not misinformed. But it was love at first sight (at least for us, as baby Vi hadn’t opened her eyes yet when we first saw her), and when we finally got to bring that little furry piglet home, our life immediately changed for the better. Three years in and it just keeps improving.
As if her Kiss Army mask wasn’t cool enough, Violet has amassed a staggering wardrobe over her three years with us. There is the basket full of collars and leashes, but that’s to be expected. I mean, a collar and leash is sort of the dog equivalent of a pair of shoes, and who doesn’t own at least a few pairs of shoes? However it’s not just the quantity, but the quality that’s noteworthy. Leather collars and leashes, from Hound Collection, bowtie collars from LuxeMutt, cashmere sweaters by Ruby Rufus, and a stylish rain coat from her favorite online store; Lead the Walk, to name a few. And then there are the accessories that get pulled from the human closet: the bows, necklaces, even the infamous Rainbow Loom. I guess it makes sense for a dog that’s on trend to have the wardrobe to match.
The clothes don’t make the man OR the dog—relationships do, and Violet has a gluttony of riches where those are concerned. You’ll find that there isn’t a page in this column dedicated to Vi’s friends, because truth be told, she hasn’t really made many over her three years. At least not any canine ones (and certainly no feline ones). She prefers people. Thankfully, the people in her life adore her, and are more than willing to endure an affectionate head butt or furious leg-licking to return the love. She isn’t exactly sure what to make of the newest human in her life, the little one that kicked her out of the bed and has all the squeaky toys he doesn’t share, but we’re confident they’ll be best buddies. He’s gonna be a pretty sloppy eater pretty soon, which should make the two of them inseparable (at least while he’s eating).
It’s not that we plan vacations with Violet in mind; it’s just that we don’t really want to go anywhere without her. This means in the three years we’ve had her, Violet has walked the streets of Boston, plunged into the ocean in Cape Cod, taken trips to the cottage, slept in boutique hotels, and terrorized squirrels over two provinces and three states. We’re glad she doesn’t need a passport, we’re glad she doesn’t get car sick, and we’re especially glad to be able to take her with us almost everywhere we go.
We learned very early on, like puppy school early, that Violet doesn’t exactly do tricks. Sure, she’ll (usually) sit on command, and she’ll give a paw, but those aren’t really tricks considering that there are water-skiing squirrels and gorillas who finger-paint. No, what Violet does is negotiate in good faith, weighing the quality of the morsel you are offering against the demands of your request. And she will not entertain a low-ball offer. But since her currency is treats, we don’t have a hard time making her offers she can’t refuse, which has allowed us to dress her up in some pretty ridiculous costumes. Whether it’s channeling the gaudy 80’s style of Cyndi Lauper, or perfecting the portrait of a lady as Minnie Mouse, Violet has always been willing to set aside her pride for the pleasure of her owners, the good of her Instagram account, and adequate treats, of course.
Frenchies are perfect for a lot of reasons. Near the top of that endless list is their behavior in the house. That Violet can be a terror outside of the house is a point covered in this column seemingly every month. But she is perfect inside. There was some concern on our part that she would be less affectionate than we hoped—a trait female Frenchies frequently show—but we are happy to say that over our three years together Violet has proven to love nothing more than cuddling – especially in the morning. Her first move when she is let out of her crate isn’t to the front door, but to the bedroom, where she ribbits until she is plopped on the bed and snuggled with zeal. And there she’ll stay, lost in the covers, emanating heat like a rock pulled form a campfire, until either her belly or her bladder force a move.