written by Cyndy-Hinkelman-Smith
"DOGS ARE NOT OUR WHOLE LIVES BUT THEY SOMEHOW MAKE OUR LIVES WHOLE."
Growing up in Boulder my family adopted dogs from the Humane Society in Boulder so when I finally decided it was time to get a dog as an adult I naturally adopted from HSBV. It was love at first site, or sit, when I first met Romeo. Many folks say that dogs pick you like Romeo did when he sat on my foot and captured my heart at our first encounter, and I completely agree. A week after adopting Romeo I met my husband, Greg, who had the sweetest Rottweiler named Lexie, and we soon became one big happy "blended" family. We both loved canines so much that we decided if we weren't able to have kids, we adopt lots of dogs. Lucky for us, a human child named Callie came along, and luckily she also deeply loved dogs.
In June of 2003 Romeo sadly passed away from a rare auto immune disease. Wow, I can't remember being that saddened by a loss, ever. A month later Greg and 4-year old Callie said "lets just stop by" HSBV. Ha ha for us, good for the Humane Society. Story goes that I (Greg, too, really) fell in love with Jasper, a black lab/coonhound mix who was about a year old, super skinny, quite handsome, and extremely hyper having lived in animal shelters for the past 45+ days, but was recently rescued from a pound in Kansas (a day away from euthanasia!). Also, Callie fell for an eight week old fur-ball husky-shepherd mix puppy who was more adorable than any of her 150+ stuffed animals she had at home. Called "Princessa" at the time, Chloe's litter was rescued from an Indian reservation in New Mexico and she was the last remaining puppy. (Poor Greg, his candidate didn't make the cut. I can't exactly remember that dog other than he was really cute and had a huge square head, but I am certain he went to a good family.) Well, guess what?! The HSBV happened to be having a 2-for-1 sale that weekend, lucky for us! Did we really want two more dogs we discussed, and did we really want the high-maintenance of a puppy? Obviously the answer was yes, we came home with two very different, but equally lovable puppies. We also believe that adopting them was one of the reasons that Lexie lived to the ripe old age of 15.
Sad, but true, Jasper and Chloe are getting old, 12 and 13 years respectively, and both have health issues. I was going to talk mostly about Jasper because he has such a big and nutty personality, and there are so, so, so many funny (and bad dog) moments and stories to tell. But, unfortunately, our days with Chloe are very limited so instead I'd like to focus on the gift that Chloe has been to us. Chloe has a mass on her liver that was diagnosed over 18 months ago and we were told then she only had about 6 to live. Thankfully, she has a very strong spirit and wasn't ready to leave us so soon. When she stopped eating for a couple of days around Thanksgiving of last year, we decided to give her bone broth having heard the miracles of feeding it to sick dogs, and so she started eating again, miraculous. Just recently she started to not feel well again and isn't really eating, not even liking bone broth.
Many times we have said that we are grateful that Callie talked us into adopting Chloe because she was definitely not the "type" of dog we would have adopted. Chloe has taught us so much. Like being quiet, gentle and sweet are sometimes is the best way to "be"; calm, cool and collected wins over being obnoxious and forceful (hint, hint, Jasper). She often finds opportunities to steal kisses from you when you're laying on the ground or you lean over to scratch her. Her peaceful presence, especially at night laying next to us on the floor, is pure comfort and joy.
Chloe kind of reminds me of bad ass (can I say that here?), super-cool, gutsy fictional female heroines Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen ("really mom?" from Callie). Smart, crafty, beautiful, quirky, and the ability to confidently kick butt if she needs to like when Jasper tries to eat her food or steal her bone, or if she feels one of us is being threatened (including Jasper). We think she's so tough because she's been through a lot. Within two weeks of adopting her, Jasper jumped on her leg while they were playing and broke it in numerous places. She has survived being fiercely bitten on the neck by a neighbor dog, brutally attacked by a pack of coyotes (the vet said she was very lucky to still be alive), and several disgusting worm infestations in her gut (won't describe here). She has run away from us several times while hiking by chasing deer or coyotes only to find her hours later, thinking that we'd never see her again.
Chloe is a much better watch dog than Jasper. Quiet, patient and sneaky when preying on squirrels and rabbits in our yard, she's also managed to avoid encounters with raccoons, unlike Jasper. She's good at alerting us when deer are near or when we had a bear in a tree in our back yard. Unfortunately, she loves to sleep on our back deck at night while keeping watch and she's gotten skunked several times usually around 2 or 3 or 4 a.m.
Winter is naturally her favorite time of year with snowy hikes and overseeing the backyard no matter the weather. I know that we will miss peering out the kitchen window to see if she is sleeping on her dog bed or in the snow covered yard on those frigid days.
Other than getting skunked, hating to ride in the car, laying in our gardens and squashing the plants, being a bit finicky about food and people, fear of many things we don't understand (other than fireworks & lightening), afraid to come down the stairs (poor eyesight), and being fairly stubborn (maybe she's part cat?), she's been an almost perfect companion. Oh, and she got stuck under our deck a couple of times so Greg had to take the deck apart to rescue her. :)
Thank you sweet Chloe girl for being our faithful and gentle adopted friend, and for being such a beautiful unexpected gift in our lives. You will always remain in our hearts and souls.
Adopt A Pet
If you are interesting in adding a furry friend to your family, please consider adoption. Boulder Humane Society has all sort of pets, even puppies!
This is Sky a 3 year old German Shepard mix who enjoys meeting people and is active and fun! She will enjoy abundant exercise but possesses the ability to relax at the end of a long day. Sky can be a bit tense upon interacting with other dogs so a home that doesn't rely on a dog park for recreation would be ideal. Sky is sociable with people and looks forward to lots of time in the great outdoors this summer!
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