She is a month younger than our marriage. Our first "big" decision made as husband and wife.

She was our "tester" - our "if the dog's still alive in 5 years, we'll consider having children." (Sadly, this was a serious statement - I'd never had anything survive that couldn't take care of itself - plants, fish, even my high school pet hamster (poor thing starved to death because I forgot to feed it)). I figured if the dog could survive, I could handle something that could make it's needs known.

She isn't our first pet. That was Pumpkin. But she is my first dog ever.

And I had no idea. No idea that those big brown eyes would steal a piece of my heart and with one wag of a tail that same piece of my heart would never belong to me again.

She's not perfect - friendly is not typically a word used to describe her, at least not until you've gotten to know her well.

She's smart. And an amazing judge of character. And a great big sister. And an amazing guard dog. And a good newspaper fetcher (yes, she will go get the Sunday paper from the porch - when it was put on our driveway, she would go get it from there too).

But in the past two years, she has been my support group. More tears have been dried by this dog's fur than I can even count. More snuggles given and hugs received (yes, she gives hugs too) amidst a broken heart than I can remember.

It is Kali who taught me to love outside myself. It is Kali who taught me to put something else's needs before my own. It is Kali who gave me the confidence to think I might actually make a good mother some day.

She has a sense about her. She knows when I am sad, sometimes before I do. She knows when I just need her to rest her head on my lap and stay close. She knows when it's hard to get out of bed and loves to cuddle until I'm ready. She knows when a few chases of her favorite toy - a football (surprised?) - is just what I need to find a smile again.

She was supposed to be The Man's dog. He'll tell you all about how I stole her from him.

But really, I think she was supposed to be my dog all along. She "gets" me. And she's expanded my heart to places I didn't know existed.

No, she's not a baby. She is a dog.

But she is mine. And without her, the fact that there is no baby would be completely and totally unbearable.


  1. Awwhhh! There is nothing better than a good dog. Takes some of the sting away. Although my DH and I don't have a dog, my parents do and I love that little bugger!

  2. I'm going to show this post to Mr JB in an attempt to convince him that I need a dog!

    Kali is such a blessing!

  3. OK, you've inspired me!!! I'm so going to do a doggy post :)
    Now, some pics of Mei-Mei, please!
    (That puppy pic is ADORABLE!) And yes, I think all lovers of BIG (i.e. real) dogs know about the awesome hugs ;) Quincy won't sit still for one, but Uzi and now Cooper are big huggers.

    JB, do you want to take a few on loan?? :)

    1. I want a tiny purse dog, TCIE! Your doggies are way too big to fit in a purse, but they are super cute!

  4. She is ADORABLE! Pepper (our Jack Russell mix) was suppose to be CH's, but she knows who takes care of her! Laika is definitely his dog...I've made him do most of the care. I think they know. My schnauzer used to give hugs, but not so much now that she's a crotchety old lady! :)

  5. Awww! How sweet. I have a pound "puppy" that I've had for about 8 years now, a black lab mix. She is the sweetest thing and loves me so much. She knows when you're sad and knows what crying looks and sounds like and will come running over and snuggle up to you or put her head in your lap and just stay there. Dogs are the best!

  6. She's adorable! I love the puppy pictures and the WVU bandanna picture =) I love her smile!

  7. Pets are great aren't they? I haven't had a pet since I left for college, but your post gets me thinking that maybe I should look more into it. Pets really are therapeutic :)

  8. She is gorgeous! I am also going to show this to my husband so I can convince him I need a dog :)

  9. BEAUTIFUL Kali! And AMEN to the part about her knowing when you need her to be there for you. One of my kitties is the same way.
    "And without her, the fact that there is no baby would be completely and totally unbearable." ... One million times over, SO TRUE!!!

  10. This made me tear up!!! I know JUST what you mean. There is a special soul-healing ability that dogs have that nobody else can match. It's the unconditionalness (I made up that word) of their love. I had a dog growing up (Lady) and she was my best friend and got me through some tough times. Now you make me want to do a puppy post, too!!

    I sometimes wonder what type of place this world would be if people could love half as well as dogs do.

    Jellybelly, you need a dog!! Our 2 dogs are the biggest turds on the planet and I still wouldn't trade them for anything.

  11. Sweet pics of a sweet dog! Glad she's been such a blessing- and that you remembered to feed her. ;)

  12. Awesome post about how important pets are and how much they are part of the family. Our first cat "Bubby" got me through many hard times as we began the IF journey. He would sit on my lap while I cried...and let me pet him. Unfortunately, he had his own health issues and we had to say "good bye" to him. We now have two wonderful playful kitties that have also warmed my heart. They just love to play and will tolerate the occasional snuggle. I'll never forget our first cat who got me through the hardest part of the IF journey.

    I have a classroom pet fish now. I hope to keep it alive too. It got mad at me yesterday for I had to clean the bowl...and it did not like swimming in a cup. Oh well...at least it now has a clean bowl. Lord willing, he'll be alive when I come back on Monday.

  13. i will never forget my sweet dog maggie... God designed a special bond between dogs and humans! kali sounds wonderful.

  14. Aww, I love that last picture!! Your Kali sounds like such a sweetheart!! We sure love our golden/lab mix we got at a shelter two years ago. We think we lucked out bc she is really the sweetest pup! She is Dh's first dog ever too so she is definitely his "baby." That last line is so spot on. I know what you mean with those big dog hugs :) They really help brighten sadder days

  15. Ahhh I want a dog so badly, but Chris is really allergic...even to hypoallergenic breeds. Dogs are the best! My Coby got me through all my high school breakups. I agree with TCIE, Mei-Mei post next!

  16. I am pretty sure I understand just how much you love her. I loved Coco that way. We got him one month after we were married. I miss him still, like you wouldn't believe.

    I'm glad you have her. I love that last picture!

  17. I. LOVE. THIS. POST. "More tears have been dried by this dog's fur than I can even count." That is my dog, Daisy. This is a beautiful shout-out to the most loyal of friends, who stick by us at our very worst and enjoy life with us at its best!