If you know us, you probably know about Charlie and Piper, our pups. We love these two so very much, sometimes, we even ask each other if we love them too much. They are the absolute best. But before these two came along, I had a few rough years as a dog-owner.
After graduating from college, I moved out to LA for a year ( I talked a little about that in my Nanny Post). At the end of my year there, I was planning a move to Charlotte and found myself having the random idea to get a puppy. Growing up, we always had a dog and I really wanted to have one of my own. Remember the Adulting post I wrote recently? Yeah, being an adult means you can get a dog even if it isn’t a great idea.
Since I had to move out of my place a few weeks before I was making the cross-country trek, I moved in with my brother and sister-in-law for a few weeks.
About a week before I moved out of my place, I found a “teacup” chihuahua that was up for adoption. His current owner had gotten him, despite the fact that she couldn’t have dogs in her apartment.
Do you recall when tiny dogs were the hottest accessory and celebrities would carry them around in their purses? This girl had planned on being able to do that and then realized that it wasn’t as fun as she had anticipated. This little guy was adorable though and I fell in love immediately. Since there was no way I was leaving without the dog, I took him home with me.
I named him Henry, also known as Little Dog and he was tiny and perfect. I had him for about a week or two before I had to leave him behind for a week to head to the east coast to celebrate my best friend getting married. When I returned, Henry had gotten bigger, learned how to bark/yap, and was even becoming territorial. He actually bonded with my brother and sister-in-law and I had to remind him that he was mine and he needed to love me. He was still cute, but he was stubborn.
Fast forward past driving cross-country with Henry and my friend Kerra (our second cross-country trip!) and moving into our apartment in North Caroline. He became an absolute terror. He had the sweetest moments and then I’d come home and he had literally torn our entire apartment apart from end to end. I tried to crate him but he either barked incessantly or found his way out so many times, I had to put a lock on the door. When I kept him out of the crate, just in my room, he tore up the carpet and scratched the heck out of the door. He barked viciously at anyone he came in contact with and even nipped at my neighbor’s ankle when he escaped out the front door one afternoon. I soon realized that I was not the best owner for Henry. He needed someone with shorter work days, a backyard and the patience to train him (and not kill him after he chewed up expensive stuff over and over). So I searched until I found a family that had a fenced backyard and the ability to train him. I felt horrible after that because it felt like I had given up too early and not taken my responsibility seriously. I knew it was best but still was a struggle.
About a year later, my new roommate and I decided we both wanted a dog and we’d adopt one together. We didn’t completely think through the plan (who’d take her when we moved out of the current place) but found ourselves with a lovely pup that we named Lucy.
She was sweet, but high energy. One day, we came home from work and she had torn all the cushions from our sofa to complete shreds. She had gone completely berserk. We realized a little later that she had also eaten an entire giant chocolate cake that was sitting on our counter (at the back, in a covered container). No, she didn’t die, she didn’t even get sick, but she was double her normal energy for a while. Soon after that, my roommate and I were both heading to new adventures. I was moving to Los Angeles and couldn’t take her with me and my roommate was moving into an apartment that wouldn’t allow pups. So once again, I spent time searching for a good home and had to hand her over. She went to a great family and I still get to see pictures of her on Facebook! She’s in a great place, so I don’t feel too guilty. But let me tell you when everyone knows you’ve had 2 dogs in two years that you have given away, even if you do it in the most responsible way you can, there’s some judgment happening.
Over two years later, I was back in Lynchburg after a year of living in LA and felt like I was settling down. I knew it was the right time to find a dog, but this time, I waited until I found one that was perfect for me.
That’s how Charlie and I met.
He was a hot mess at the Lynchburg Humane Society. He looked pathetic and I knew he and I would be great friends. They found him wandering the wild streets of Lynchburg, but since he was house trained as Nd easily found his way to my bed as soon as I brought him home, I’m guessing he had a family that he belonged too at some point in his life. The vet estimated that he was about 2 years old when I adopted him. He and I immediately were soul mates. He slept in late, was fine with minimal walks and was content to be alone or hanging out with me. Seriously, we were meant to be.
His eyes may take back buy to get used to as he seems to stare straight into your soul. He loves car rides, putting the windows down himself, barking at big dogs, and hiking. He barks ferociously at most things, but it’s all a farce. He’s a sweetheart, who loves belly rubs and burrowing under any blanket he can find.
Piper is our diva. I got her as a puppy from another humane society. I was able to pick her out of the litter and boy I’m glad I ended up with her. While Charlie is like an old crotchety man, Piper’s the friendly social butterfly! Every morning, as she is getting up, she yawns loudly and dramatically. She expects treats as soon as she comes in from her walks and prides herself on being able to tear apart any stuffed toy we give her. She loves her brother Charlie so very much and he in turn tolerates her.
I realize as I’m writing this, I sound like a proud mom bragging about the milesstones her kids have recently reached.
Yes, these are my dogs.
I don’t care. Let this childless woman have her moment, okay?
When people say their dogs are their best friends, it’s true. Unless you have a dog that you love(d), you probably think that’s a crazy thing to say. But these pups get excited when I’m excited (they probably think they are getting a treat), they can sense when I’m upset (they were champs this summer ) and they just love to love.
If you are thinking of adding a pup to your family, I personally recommend adopting as there are always great pups looking for a home. I do understand that there may be a specific need for a certain breed (ie. allergies), so I won’t judge.
If you aren’t in a place that you can add a pup to your life, find a way to be around one! Studies have shown that being around a dog can reduce stress and anxiety. No, I dont have the scientific proof to link to, but you can google it.
Are you a dog person? If so, let me know about your favorite pup!