Charlotte & “Us” – by Dominique Palma

charlotte-us-postGrowing up surrounded by animals – horses, guinea pigs, birds, cats, DOGS (so many special dogs), it was a rude awakening to graduate from college, move to San Francisco and wake up each day pet-less. Something was missing. In a matter of months I sought to remedy the situation by getting myself a kitten, and raising her to be the best dog a cat can be. Sushi has been my companion for over seven years and I adore her, and she ALMOST filled the dog shaped hole in my life, but not quite.

For years I’d torture myself by scouring looking for the perfect scruffy friend to adopt, sending links to my mom in the hope that she’d respond and say “Great idea! Go for it!”. She never did, because we both knew the timing wasn’t right.  I wasn’t ready to give up happy hours and after work Giants games to instead rush home and play with my dog each day.

Along came Shirley, and her endless supply of rescue opportunities.  Curly puppies, scruffy puppies, big puppies, tiny puppies… I knew that one day, when the time was right, Shirley would have the puppy for me.  That time came sooner than I might have guessed.

Just a month before my wonderful boyfriend Matt was planning to move into my apartment, I stopped by Shirley’s with my mom and met Charlotte.  Her fluff, her wiggly little body, her precocious personality – I just knew she was the one for me!  But was she the one for US?  Could I choose a dog for myself when I was about to build a home with someone?  Charlotte wasn’t Matt’s definition of a “real dog” – not what he would pick if he had a say.

12583732_10207779461746116_730374213_nToday he admits that Charlotte is the exact dog he would pick.  There’s nothing a “real dog” would do that Charlotte can’t do. She just happens to be more portable and easier to bathe!  She is such a fit for our life – she goes to Tahoe and bounds through the snow, she goes camping and oyster shucking, and wine tasting, and holds her own playing fetch with dogs three times her size at the beach, and doesn’t quite hold her own in wrestling matches with Sushi.

Life wouldn’t be complete without Charlotte- the highlight of my day is coming home from work to cuddle her viciously.  We are so grateful that Shirley found her for us, and look forward to a lifetime of adventures with our Charlotte!

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