Whether it is her sweet little face that excitedly looks through the glass window as I walk up the driveway or when she peeks at me with her big brown eyes up from under the blanket or how she looks over her shoulder as she runs away from me diving under the couch, (usually with a sock in her mouth) – Chloe never fails to melt my heart and make me laugh!
As a little girl and having asthma and allergies, my sister and I accepted that we simply couldn’t ever have a pet. However years later, I had a miscarriage and found myself wandering around my new large home in the suburbs, which was unfortunately, located beside an elementary school, a constant reminder of my recent loss. I was devastated and depressed and needed something to cheer my spirits and soothe the quietness booming in the house. And then, I heard about Shnoodles, a hypo-allergenic dog – perfect!!
So off we went to find our Shnoodle. And there she was, actively wrestling and playfully chasing her siblings. Instantly we connected. She made me laugh and my laughter seemed to multiply her energy! All of the puppies were precious – one little girl even fell asleep on my shoe as we stood over them as they played, but it was Chloe that truly stole our hearts. She had loads of energy, was curious and spunky even at 6 weeks. It is funny that these are the same traits that anger me at times.
Those early days of training our Chloe were both wonderful and massively frustrating! I cherished our afternoons together as I worked with her asleep and stretched across my lap just under my keyboard. She learned manners and special tricks and loved getting praise. I regularly cleaned up her “messes” and got up in the night with her when she was afraid of storms. I babied her when she was sick, soothed her after her surgery and worried about her when I was away from the house – just like a baby!
As she got older, we explored the quiet winter woods together or went on long runs on the beach. Today, I still love looking over at her in the car and seeing her joy as she happily looks back at me.
Chloe brought joy into my life when I was feeling sorrow – she taught me perseverance, to laugh and to keep going. There were many days when I would try to hide in my bedroom or bathtub from the world. She would persist and time after time, she would pull me out of my pain and out of the house. She would take me out of the darkness and into the light by wanting to play or needing to be walked or scolded for getting into something that she shouldn’t have been into. Other times, we would lay together on the landing in the sunshine; both of us stretched out looking at the beautiful blue sky and watching the clouds float by.
Sometimes when my thoughts travelled to darker places, when I would think that somehow I was being punished or that God knew that I wouldn’t be a good mother and changed His mind and took my baby back, Chloe would cuddle with me or knock something over interrupting my thoughts and breaking the intensity. I would then have to get up and scold her or love her or clean something up, just like a mother.
It has been over four years since my miscarriage but I am happy to announce that I am nearly 3 months pregnant! A lot of pain, healing, acceptance and finally finding peace has happened during this time. What Chloe has taught me undeniably is that when this baby is born, I will be a very good mother. Thank you – I love you Chloe!
Kelly McIntyre M.Sc.