If you're anything like I am, you probably remember when you got your very first dog. I know I do. I was about nine years old, and the dog was a miniature poodle named Charlie. But I have to admit, this story's got mine beat!
Nicole Renae was just ten years old when her first dog came into her life. Being an only child, Nicole didn't long for a sister or brother—she wanted a dog. So for her tenth birthday, Grandma gave her a sweet, gray puppy she named Chloe. And from that time on, they were inseparable.
"I just loved her to death," Nicole related. "She was my best friend." For four years their bond grew tighter. Nicole remembers, "She was such a sweet dog. She’d lick your face forever if you didn't stop her."
Those four years were precious to both Nicole and Chloe, but they were short-lived. When Nicole turned fourteen, her father had a career change that required a distraction-free home (his new "office.") Nicole was devastated when she had to give Chloe up. She was certain she'd never see her little friend again.
"He was told we couldn’t have any pets. Chloe was very yappy," Nicole said. "We had no choice. I was just a kid, so I obviously didn’t have any choice in the matter. It was heartbreaking. I didn’t want to get rid of my dog."
Life moved on for Nicole and she got married and had her first child. Her love for her child reminded her of how much as a child she had loved her little dog. She wanted the same kind of relationship for her own daughter. Getting another dog was a natural next move.
At first, Nicole thought she'd adopt a puppy. Then she came across a picture of a senior dog on Facebook. Not only did the dog look like her old companion, she was also named Chloe. "What a coincidence!" Nicole thought. She decided then and there that she would adopt the look-alike with the perfect name. She had no idea that the two were already well-acquainted!
Nicole might not have believed it was possible, but Chloe knew instantly who she was. "She just ran up to me and started licking my face," she said. "As the day went on, all these characteristics just reminded me of my old dog."
"She just kept hugging me. I was crying — it reminded me so much of my Chloe," Nicole related. "I never thought I’d see my dog again, but I just knew in my heart that it was her."
So many years had passed. Nicole found it nearly impossible to believe that it could be her childhood companion, but so many things pointed to that conclusion. Finally, Nicole's mom had an idea. Chloe had been microchipped as a puppy, and this dog was microchipped, too. A simple read of the information on the chip proved beyond a shadow of a doubt: this was her Chloe!
Nicole discovered that Chloe had been adopted by an older couple who loved her up till the day they died. Another family had then taken her home, but returned her to the shelter when it didn't work out. Now, all these years later, Chloe was home with Nicole again where she belonged. And it is as though no time had passed at all, because they picked up right where they left off. And this time, it's for good!
This unusual story sent me down Memory Lane where I walked for awhile with my first dog, Charlie. Do you have a "first dog" story, too? We'd love to hear it! And share Nicole and Chloe's story with your friends. I'm sure they will be amazed, too.