Last week I adopted the sweetest little pooch there ever was and I decided to name her Chickpea.
I've always been a dog person. I grew up with 3 dogs that I adored. However, these dogs were always living at my parents farm, which is pretty easy and happy way for a dog to grow up. 100 acres of freedom for the pooch = no picking up of poop! I hate picking up poop.
When I moved from home I lived in Montreal, then LA, and now have been happily settled in Toronto for the last 5 years. With all of the moving about, I knew a dog just wasn't a smart choice for me just yet.
Now that I work full-time from home (best job ever!), I felt it was finally the right time to have a pooch of my very own. At first I started looking for puppies... because who doesn't love puppies, but then I realized that I just couldn't get a puppy when I knew perfectly well there were too many dogs in shelters that needed homes very badly. I admit, I was a bit bummed about the idea of getting an older dog at first, I was worried the dog would come with issues and not bond to me in the same way I was used to.
So with a little hesitance, I started searching my local pet shelter, as well as adoptapet.com and finally petfinder.com and there she was. A medium-little dog who had a quirky look about her, and was described as 1 year old, sweet natured, loving and lovable, with a flair for attracting attention with her soft features and bushy tail.
You know how they say that dogs look like their owners... well I mean come on, she's white all over, with blonde highlights, and fabulous eyeliner. My heart melted.
I drove an hour to go visit her where I met Ann and Pete, a lovely couple that have been fostering dogs for over 30 years until the dogs are able to find permanent homes. After a chat with Ann and Pete I found out that they are veg too, woot!
I met Chickpea (she was called Jodi at the time). She was super nervous of me at first, but was so soft, quiet and she watched my every move with those big adorable eyes. I took her home that day. She hid in the back of my car, but stared up at me every time I looked back at her. Nervous, but she instantly seemed to trust me. It wasn't long before she was glued to my side.
I admit at first I was a little nervous about my impromptu decision. I just adopted a life that I would have to care for, and on top of that, she sheds as if she were trying to make me a rug. Seriously. But shedding and all I knew I had found myself a new best friend. I mean just look at that smile!
Adopting a dog it turned out, was the best decision ever. Chickpea came from northern Quebec, where apparently there are many stray dog that are often left neglected, abandoned, or abused. I really think dogs know that you rescued them. My worries about adopting a dog were completely gone. She had no issues, she just needed a loving home, and with that love came instant bonding. ♥
Chickpea is so insanely smart, she was house trained, learned her name, and how to sit in 2 days. Learned how to heel on the leash in 3, and learned how to lie down, not jump up, and is getting pretty good at peeing on command even! (I tell her "washroom" as "go pee" sounds a little too similar to Chickpea). She is so quiet I have yet to hear her bark, but she is so happy and excited about life it makes every day just so much fun. I swear I can just talk to her and she seems to understand me.
Snuggling is her absolute favourite. When I watch a movie, she snuggles into my side and looks back at me like this. It's impossible not to laugh every time. She's also taken to bopping me on the nose when she wants me to wake up in the morning, which I don't think is particularly funny...
Of course, as the vegan that I am, I was worried about feeding her animal based dog food. I was surprised, and thrilled that when I called 3 different local vets they were all totally supportive of a high-quality vegan diet for dogs.
Actually, I just got back from Chickpea's first vet visit, and the doctor recommended the vegan dog food for her anyways as she seems to suffer from a bit of allergies (part of the shedding problem), and he thinks the food will help. Very, very cool. So now I am transitioning her to a vegan diet, and let me tell you, she seems as thrilled about it as I am.
She has decided this is her favourite chair, and sits looking at me like this while I type away or cook, and every time I look at her, she wags her tail. Seriously, could you be more cute!?
Feeling sappy today.