He was picked out by my brother when I was only a very tiny person, because my brother was the oldest and got the first pick. He picked poorly. Hence began a long line of pet tragedies in the Guccini household.
Maybe I'm exaggerating; to be honest, I have very little personal memories of Casper in our house. As I mentioned, I was a very tiny person. I just know he was mean. The famous Casper story goes like this: one of my brother's friends came over one day during winter before going skiing. As Casper often did with guests, he decided this friend was evil and bit his leg. But Casper didn't play with his bites, and this one went through snowpants. Through jeans. Through long underwater. AND THEN HE BROKE THE SKIN.
Eventually, our family must have come to a general consensus that he was just too mean for a sane family with three children to own, so we gave him to my grandma. Haha! Which sounds weird, but for some reason, my grandma was the love of Casper's life. And like most small, mean dogs, Casper lived forever from that point on, protecting my grandma from harm for many, many years. Their love for each other was pure and true, although it did make giving my grandma a hug a somewhat dangerous endeavor for a long time.
The first pet I owned as my own adult person, however, was a sweet gray kitty from the Animal Rescue League of Boston. She was surprisingly heavy in the cardboard box as I lugged her through the uneven cobblestones of the South End to the T, where she rode the train back out to Brighton. Kathy had to work that day, and was worried Lily would be hiding in a corner once I opened the box and set her free. I texted her to let her know that Lily was, in fact, snuggled in bed with me. Kathy always talks about it as one of the bestest and happiest texts of her life.