It’s no secret that I’m crazy about my dog. And it all started a little less than two years ago. Matt and I had been married for about 4 months when we decided that it was time to find a furry friend to add to our family. I grew up with dogs (as well as various other family pets) and had been wanting to get one of my own for years. Matt had never had a dog and always wanted one. So we began looking and searching shelters for the perfect pup. There were so many wonderful dogs in these shelters but none of them felt like they were the right one for us. And it didn’t help that Matt and I couldn’t agree on what we wanted. I wanted a smaller dog, he wanted a big one. I wanted one that would sit contently on my lap and he wanted one that he could run around with and play ball. I was hoping that we would find some middle ground and thought that we would just know when we saw the right dog. And one day, we happened to be in the right place at the right time when we saw her. Cute little 7 pounds of pure energy. She was 8 weeks old and adorable. She sat there behind the chain link fence staring at us. We moved closer and she jumped up and put her front paws on the gate, and began kissing and nibbling on our fingertips through the bars. We decided to ask about her and found out that she wasn’t taken yet. A worker at the SPCA brought her out of the cage and we were able to met with her privately in a room. They put her down and closed the door and she began to search every corner of the room. Sniff, Sniff, Sniff. We watched her roam around and then she returned to where we were sitting. She was a bit timid but enjoyed all of the attention. We were instantly in love. Even though I immediately adored her, I wasn’t sure about taking on the responsibility of a puppy. I knew they were a ton of work and was hoping for a dog that was already somewhat trained. There was another dog that was much older that I liked as well, but Matt was certain about her. It had to be her. So we asked for more info. They told us that she was abandoned at 4 weeks old and had been with the SPCA for the past month. Her name at the time was Nut Nut (which was quickly changed to Chloe upon adopting her) and they knew she was some sort of terrier mix. They told us that she would probably grow up to be no more than 30 pounds. And that she was a sweetheart and would definitely be a terrific pet. It was the first day she was up for adoption and the SPCA had only been open for 30 minutes. We took that as a sign that was meant to be. Matt was so convinced that she was the right one and put all my doubts to rest. We adopted her that day and it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.
We brought her home and things definitely started out less than perfect. The first couple weeks were crazy to say the least. Being that she was only 8 weeks old and that she had been in the shelter for half of her life, she hadn’t learned a lot of the things that puppies normally learn from their mothers or siblings. She was a biter. She would chew on EVERYTHING. We got her chew toys but those weren’t enough. Our chair legs were soon covered with teeth marks. The bottom of the couch was ripped up. She attacked the Christmas tree. She ate the wrapping paper off of Christmas presents. She would tear her puppy pads into billions of pieces when left alone for more than a few minutes. She would whine and cry at night or when she was by herself. Getting her to sleep was a battle for a few weeks. But even with all the hard work and long hours of getting her adjusted to her new home, we were so in love.
That hard work eventually paid off. She was a fast learner and through a few training classes, she became the well behaved dog we knew she could be. It has been so special over the past two years watching her grow and see how her own unique personality has developed. She’s loving, opinionated and playful. She loves children and people but has become archenemies with the cats, squirrels and crows of the neighborhood. She loves playing ball but only with her favorite ones. She is a notorious toy stealer and a great soccer player. And even though she has two doggy beds of her own, we often catch her sprawled out on our bed. It’s now impossible to imagine what our lives would be like without her.
Today, Chloe turns two. In dog years, that’s 14. A teenager. Even though the SPCA was way off on what size she would be (she’s 62 pounds not the 30 like they thought she would be), they sure were right about one thing: she would be a terrific dog. To the little love of my life, Happy Birthday!