December 22, 2017

Piglet's Adoption Story

People have been asking me about Piglet's adoption story and while I've told snippets of it over the past few weeks, I haven't had the time or space to tell the full story until now.

Back in early October, knowing how much I love bulldogs and pitbulls, my friend texted me about a bulldog he was going to start fostering that weekend, and invited me over.

Well, I actually invited myself over.

But, my friend's nice and he extended an invitation after I said I wanted to meet her.

And meet her I did.

It changed my life.

Chloe, as Piglet was known then, was a sweet and shy little thing. She greeted me calmly and warmly upon meeting me but when dinner was served, she was more interested in her food than me.

I would've been more interested in my food, too.

She also wasn't a bulldog but a pitbull (maybe bulldog/pitbull mix).

After her dinner, my friend wanted to take some shots of Chloe for her adoption video so he had me put my face next to hers.

She started licking my face enthusiastically, charming me and making me laugh.

I loved the encounter and it delighted me to no end.

Later, as we were eating Popeyes, Chloe sat there, staring at us, with strings of drool coming out of her mouth, clearly wanting some of our chicken, but not a peep came out of her.

I marveled at how quiet and gentle she was. And, so well-mannered.

Sweet, too.

In the middle of movie-watching, Chloe walked over to me and tucked herself, back to me, between my legs.

My friend remarked, "She likes you."

I liked her, too.

But what came later was what really did me in.

While petting her as she was laying in her bed, Chloe picked her head up from where she was resting it and moved it backwards to place her head in my hand.

And, that's when I knew I was in trouble.

If it's possible to fall in love at first sight with a dog, then this was it. I'd fallen in love – hard – and quite unexpectedly. There was something inexplicable about Chloe that drew me to her and it made me feel very protective.

When I went home that night, Chloe stayed on my mind. I mulled over the song my friend was going to edit her adoption video to and immediately thought of Redbone's Come and Get Your Love.

I cringed at the thought of someone taking Chloe and never seeing her again.

Then the idea of me adopting Chloe popped into my head. And, I got scared.

Because, while I wanted Chloe, I hadn't planned on adopting a dog, wasn't at all prepared for the responsibilities of one, and adopting a dog would complicate the life plans that I'd put into motion six months before. My head wrestled with the decision and I told myself it wasn't a good idea.

But still, I looked up the adoption application on my phone and fell asleep with it in my hand, contemplating whether I could realistically do it.

The next morning, when I woke up, an email from my friend was waiting in my inbox telling me someone had already applied for Chloe and they were meeting her the next day.

My heart dropped and dread crept in. I knew if they met her, they'd immediately fall in love with her and take her away.

And, I was right.

They took her home with them the same night and I was completely devastated.

I processed the news as I was waiting for my train home and just started bawling on the platform. Looking through the photos I'd taken of Chloe the night we met, I felt a profound sadness that I wouldn't get to see her again.

The intensity of my reaction surprised me.

It felt like heartbreak.

With a dog.

I didn't know I could love a dog this much.

In the days after, I moped and thought about Chloe a lot. I tried to convince myself that this was the best thing. She was with dog parents who were experienced and she now had two dog siblings to play with. She was better off with them than with me.

I told myself that having a dog was like having a kid and I'd always said I wouldn't get a dog until I was partnered up because my schedule wouldn't be fair to a dog.

And yet, I kept thinking about how I would never meet another dog like Chloe again.

I felt very selfish.

A week later, my friend relayed the news that Chloe was in the hospital with pneumonia and was in dire circumstances.

I worried and worried about her until my friend told me she was out of the hospital and recovering.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Chloe spent three days in the hospital on a nebulizer. When she was released, her parents asked my friend to take care of her because they didn't want Chloe and their two other dogs passing the illness back and forth to each other.

My friend couldn't do it so I stepped in.

And it was glorious.

I had Chloe for four, too short, days.

We hung out on the sofa, made a trip to Petco, played lots of tug-of-war, watched cars (she loves watching cars), went to parks, went to a dog-friendly brewery, played ball, met friends, snuggled a lot.

And, I fell in love with her even more.

I dreaded the end of our interlude, and when it came time to say good-bye, it was incredibly hard for me to let her go back to her parents.

I was a ridiculous, crying mess for a few days after that.

Again, I had to convince myself that Chloe was better off with them than with me, that they'd give her a better life.

Or, so I thought.

Two weeks later, her adoptive parents contacted me saying they were returning Chloe to the rescue and asked me if I wanted her, that I was their first choice.

I couldn't believe it.

My friend had been in communication with them and knew they were having problems with her – she has food aggression issues – and had told them that I'd adopt her if they needed another solution. He hadn't told me any of this because he didn't want to get my hopes up.

So, the news came as a surprise.

I, of course, shouted a huge yes, and waited on tenterhooks until she was in my arms again.

I feel so lucky that I have her in my life. It's been a long road adopting Piglet and she's turned my life upside down, but I've woken up with a smile on my face every morning I've had her.

I love her so much.

She brings me such joy.

I wish everyone could experience what the intensity of this joy feels like because it's made my life so much better.

There have been ups and there have been downs, but I have a Piglet.

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