Has this ever happened to you: You meet someone for the very first time and instantly you both just click. Like you’ve always been friends and, really, all that was left was the mere formality of an actual meeting. It can happen with people. But not only with people ...
A nice young family rented the house next door to us in the early 2000’s. A dad, a mom, and their 2 young daughters. One day dad comes home and, surprise! He’s brought home a new puppy! A solid black female cockerpoo, purchased through some fancy pet shop in Alpharetta. The girls were thrilled! They named her Chloe.
Then I got to meet Chloe. And my heart skipped a beat.
For the record, I’m not an immoral person. But I have to admit that I found out quickly how gut-wrenching it can be to be madly in love with someone you can never have. And don’t you dare judge me! I have owned a dog that ate cars, for Pete’s sake! Didn’t I deserve a little happiness? I’m only human, you know! So ... how to get more time with Chloe ...
This was during a time in my work life when I was working from home. I had seen the dad build a run for Chloe in the back yard. Then I found out that when everyone was at work and school, Chloe was tethered to the run and food and water was left for her on the back porch ... in the backyard ... perfect! Because a daytime rendezvous with your secret beloved needs to be discreet.
Our first encounter just fanned the flame in my heart even more, because – as I suspected – AAARGH!!! Her bowls are empty and dry!! I can’t let my beloved starve and dehydrate!! So there began my twice or more daily trips over to see my – er, their! – dog. I had to keep those bowls filled with kibble and water, didn’t I? And just going over was so much fun! Her soft silky hair was all long and curly and covering her face. She looked like a little sheep dog. And when she saw me coming she would quiver and tremble with excitement and just pure raw joy ... oh, I fell in love with that little dog! And the little dog loved me back! Still, she wasn’t my dog ... but at least we could have our stolen moments everyday! Sweet bliss! Our affair went on for months.
One day the dad told us that he and his family would be moving. They had other pets besides Chloe, and where they were moving to wouldn’t be accommodating for so many animals. Could Bill and I possibly consider taking Chloe?
You would have been so proud of me ... kept my composure, I did ... I calmly replied, “Well, yes, we think we could manage taking Chloe off your hands.” Inside it was more like ... well ... nevermind ... can’t spell it, can’t describe it ... let’s just say I was ... pleased!!!!
So that day, instead of watching me walk away from her, Chloe got to follow me home! I think for just the first week she might have been a tiny bit stressed in her new surroundings. She chewed a couple of pillows on the corners. But after about a week, she settled down. That was the only destructive thing she ever did.
If two species of mammals could ever be soul mates, that would be Chloe and me. We were joined at the hip.
If I was home, she was by my side. If I ever went anywhere she was allowed, there she was. If I went to the grocery store and if it was cool enough, I’d bring her along to wait in the car. Windows down so she could see everybody. We’d always meet people who wanted to pet her.
Always we’d take a long route home ... a few more minutes of her beloved joy rides!
She loved people! Except the vet. Our first trip, she was only too happy to meet everybody. Every vet trip thereafter, we’d be pulling her out from under the bench so they could examine her and give her the shots.
She loved other dogs! But always seemed perplexed when meeting some yappy dog at PetSmart that just wanted to mouth off at her. She just wanted to play! We tried a dog park one time. But she wouldn’t go play with the other dogs. Too many dogs at one time, I suppose. I tried to turn her loose while I went to sit and chat with the other dog owners. Instead of playing with the other dogs, Chloe followed me and hid under my bench the whole time. She would only come out when she walked with me around the perimeter of the park!
She loved a daily walk. We live on a deadend off a deadend. Nice and quiet, very little traffic. If you leave our drive and walk the curb all the way around and back to our drive, it’s 1.3 miles. We had our routine and that’s how she liked it. One day we came out the door, Chloe on leash. Something caught my eye that needed tending to ... I don’t remember what. I think I saw something that needed to be taken to the trash can. Whatever it was, I absent mindedly dropped the leash and went and tended to it. It took a few more minutes than I had expected. When I was done, I looked up ... no Chloe. Where was she? Porch? Back yard? Front yard? I walked to the end of the drive and looked down the street. She had already rounded the first cul-de-sac and was headed back up the street, leash dragging behind! Crazy dog! Wonderful dog! My funny Chloe!!