ECHOES: Michelle

Design by Alexa Druyanoff

In Echoes, Josh Atwater (TD ‘24, Herald staff) conducts a weekly interview and excerpts the most impactful quotes into a short-form narrative.

The following is sourced from a conversation with Michelle Marti (TD ’23). Quotes are edited for clarity and length.

“Juicy weighed three pounds. She was a chihuahua, and she had very large ears. Her breath smelled really bad, so whenever she would attack us, it would stink. Like one of those villain powers where they release a cloud of stench. She was a very—no, she was not a very sweet dog. She was very mean. But she was very important to me, because she had a lot of personality. And she was too small for her aggression to be a problem, so it was cute.

My mom had never had a pet dog growing up; her family always just fed table scraps to the neighborhood mutts. But when we got Juicy, she must have thought, ‘Oh, America is different—American dogs eat special food, so we need to get her some.’

So we went to Publix, a Florida supermarket. The Publix-brand milk has this picture of a dog surfing a wave of milk on the jug. My mom thought that because there was a dog on the jug, it was milk for baby dogs. So for a very significant portion of Juicy’s young life, she was only given milk to eat—and whatever scraps my grandma fed her under the table. Honestly, she turned out well, and she lived to sixteen. Maybe we discovered something.

When Juicy was little, she used to eat anything. We would leave her alone when we went out, and we kept our trash in the kitchen. When we’d get back we would see her at the front door, and her stomach would be so bulbous—her legs were only a couple inches long, and so her stomach would be bulging so much that it was practically touching the ground. We’d say, ‘Oh, Juicy, what happened?’ And she would slowly walk over to the kitchen and reveal that our trash bag had been torn open, and all of our food waste had been consumed. Our little compost dog. 

Then she got older. She stopped eating, and she developed breast cancer. She had this huge lump on her boob, and she wouldn’t move around much. Every night my parents had to feed her with a little syringe. 

So she’s no longer with us, but her spirit still is. I have one of those ‘I heart boobies’ bracelets, in her honor. And I have her tattoo. When I pull down my bottom lip, I have her name tattooed there on the inside of my mouth. JUICY.”

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