And Chloe Makes Five


Just when we thought Our Little House, or our hearts couldn’t get fuller, in walks Chloe.

Several weeks ago, I got involved with a rescue in Springfield, Mo. – our nearest “big” city – helping save dogs from the high kill municipal pound there. They do not allow public adoptions and the only way out for these unfortunate pets is through approved rescues.

It was then I was reminded of a story I had read several years ago that theorized Big Black Dogs, or BBD’s as they’re known in the dog world, have less of a chance of making it out of shelters alive.

When the rescue I was working with had to leave 6 dogs in the shelter and they were all BBD’s, I decided to rescue this sweet girl.

Chloe, Sade and Emma in background have learned to get along

Of course, she’s officially a foster, but we all know how that turned out with Buddy. Although we were very happy Buddy found a loving home with someone who dotes on him and takes him everywhere, we still miss the little guy.

Although Chloe clearly had some training, she comes immediately when called, even if she’s on the scent of something. She also knows a few commands but the first couple of days were a challenge.

First, there was those several incidents with car sickness on the hour long drive from picking her up in Branson. Truly, I didn’t know a dog stomach could hold so much. Thank goodness for moisture resistant seat covers and the towels we brought.

Then Sade, our usually loving pit bull, didn’t take well at all to another alpha female presence. No major fights, but a lot of scary barking, growling and nipping from both sides of the room for a few days.

Finally, there was the issue of her name. Dale and I have never agreed on names, but I usually win (He hasn’t named one since I allowed him to name my first cat “Rastus” over 30 years ago).

Dale wanted to call her “Lucky” because she was pulled literally off death row just hours before her scheduled demise.

While there’s nothing wrong with “Lucky,” I tend to go for more “human” type names, although some might think Dakota, Sade and Chloe, especially, sounds more like given names at a hippie commune.

I thought of a few we haven’t used on the numerous cats and dogs we’ve had in our lives: Madison, Allie, Bella, but they didn’t fit.

She just seemed like a “Chloe” to me, a name Dale of course, doesn’t like.

“Silly for a dog,” is an exact quote.

Things have calmed down significantly to the point that I believe she is being accepted.

Last night, Chloe climbed into my lap and laid her head on my shoulder as if to say, “I’m home, thank you,” and there wasn’t even one protective growl from any of the Fearsome Four.

As I write this, Emma, Sade and Chloe just had a playful game of “gotcha” in my office (the dog version of tag) and Sade is now lying next to Chloe and they are sharing, yes, sharing, a toy.

When I looked up the name “Chloe,” I learned it is of Greek origin and means “blooming,” and that she is.

If you have room in your heart and home for another pet – or maybe you’re thinking of getting your first – this is an excellent time to adopt. Every shelter in the country is overflowing with wonderful dogs and cats just like Chloe, many of which will be killed for lack of space. Adopting is one of the most rewarding forms of recycling. Please adopt, don’t shop!

What is the most unique pet name you’ve heard or given to a pet?

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26 Responses

  1. Vida says:

    Hi Kerri, congratulations for the newest addition to your family, Chloe is just beautiful. We have our own BBD rescue too, she is a Korthal’s griffon mix, a hunting dog that appeared at our nearby village when she was a pup (dumped). I fell in love with her from the start but at the time we already had four dogs, one another fresh rescue and my husband came close to “me or the dogs!” Things came to a head when she was poisoned around Christmas, we got a call for help and flew to rescue her. It was touch and go for a while but now she is fine and part of the family. Her name is “Xiao Ming” which is a chinese name meaning “little life”, that is what she is, a little life we saved with a big heart and a lovely black face that gives us joy daily!

    Bravo for YOUR big hearts in taking in Chloe!

  2. Squeal! Welcome Chloe!

    Kerri, thanks for this awesome reminder that adopting RULES!

    Fostering is awesome too because in some cases you can help out a needy, wonderful pup, and it will only cost you time and love, but not money. A rescue group here in Charlotte, NC will pay for a foster dog’s food and vet care while the dog is staying with you! That’s how badly homes are needed.

  3. MarthaAndMe says:

    Oh, what a cutie! I didn’t know big black dogs had a lower chance of being adopted – that is sad. My uncle had a big black dog and I was very fond of her – they can be just as wonderful as any other dog. Enjoy your new warm body to love!

  4. Sandy says:

    While our dog technically wasn’t from a shelter, we did adopt her from someone who had taken her in(she already had 3 big dogs to feed) She is a “BBD” lab mix(72lbs) and from the very beginning has been the sweetest dog ever. Not to say there were not issues…such as getting and running loose but for the most part she lives for our attention. She is so smart and has beautiful eyes. Best decision ever to adopt her. Funny thing about her though she absolutely has very little odor. Our dog before her always smelled like a dog, Nina on the other hand has a beautiful black coat and has never smelled. Makes us love her all the more

  5. David says:

    In case you or your readers haven’t seen it, you really should see the animated song “GoD and DoG” by Wendy Francisco:

    I think you will certainly relate!

    I am quite impressed that the pig bull took such a short time to begin getting along with Chloe, by the way–they aren’t always noted for being quite so accommodating.


    • kerri says:

      Thank you for sharing, David. The only issue we had with Sade was when she first arrived. She had problems with Emma, but once I made a few minor changes to establish the pack order, she was fine. I can see how people who haven’t established their leader status could have major issues. She didn’t have a problem at all with Buddy, who was male.

  6. Kim says:

    Oops, just saw your comment to Roxanne on the “no adoptions” rule. Should’ve read the comments before commenting myself! That’s really outrageous.

    • Kerri says:

      It is outrageous, Kim. When you’re ready for that BBD, let me know and I will put you in touch with the rescue that pulls from Springfield. When we had our aging first rescue, a mini-Doxie named Hershey, I didn’t think she would take too well to having Emma around and we thought it would upset her. But really, she just ignored Emma for the most part.

  7. Kim says:

    Chloe is just lovely, and I love the name too. Your post about BBDs grim statistics clicked something inside me– we need a fence first, but once we get one, I’d love to rescue a BBD for our next family pet. (That might be after our aging minpin passes on– I don’t think she’d share her family well.)

    …And why on earth wouldn’t a shelter allow adoptions?? Are they WANTING to kill all the dogs?!

  8. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for posting this about Chloe. Wish I could adopt some animals but my husband is very allergic to them.

    • Kerri says:

      I’m wondering if he might tolerate one of the so called hyp-allergenic breeds, Alexandra? While Obama didn’t rescue one, there are plenty in rescues.

  9. I’m still stuck on this: “They do not allow pub­lic adop­tions…”

    So, unless another rescue group comes in, all the animals die?

    • Exactly, Roxanne. I’ve never heard of such a thing. They have to be pulled by an approved rescue and if those rescues are full, no dog or cat gets out alive. There’s a lot of things I’ve learned about the municipal pounds here in the south. Many of them still use the barbaric gas chamber to kill the unwanted pets. Some use an almost as barbaric method called “heart stick,” which is basically a shot directly to the heart, which doesn’t have the same peaceful effect as the shot to the leg we associate with “putting them to sleep.”

  10. Heather says:

    She’s adorable, Kerri. So now is it the “Fearsome Five” or will the pack have to take on a new moniker?

  11. Judith Bader Jones says:

    I don’t see why she can’t have both names;”Lucky Chloe”, at least your husband can whisper both names softly to her when he is speaking to her. The wonder is to me how this lost-leftover dog has now been accepted into the household by the other canine creatures. I loved the visual picture of Chloe on your lap, comforted at last, and this time for good.

  12. Rhonda Mock says:

    My father gave his grandchildren the pleasure of naming each calf as they came along. When it rolled around to my youngest son’s turn, he named his calf “Sir Loin”……..

  13. Kristi says:

    Nothing unique comes to mind, but can’t click away without saying thank you for your big old heart. It is always a gamble adding a new dog to the mix. Thanks for rolling the dice.

    • You’re right. The more dogs in the house, the more the gamble, Kristi. However, I’ve just always went with the attitude that it has to work out. For the dogs we have (other’s cast offs), there’s no other option, no where for them to go. It helps to know a little about dog pack order and it just takes some time. This one was the roughest we’ve had yet, but Chloe is well worth it!

  14. Kathleen Winn says:

    I can see Dale’s point because she truly is a lucky dog, but I love the name Chloe. It somehow fits those sweet eyes looking out from her picture. Wonderful that she’s found her place in the pack and everyone is getting along!

    Unusual pet names? Hmmm…. well when we move to our place in the country I plan to have chickens. At least one will be named “Lady Clucksalot.” Haha- I can’t wait!

    • I don’t know, Lucky just reminds me of the mob! 🙂 That’s a good chicken name, Kathy! Knowing you, I bet there will be some great unique names in that chicken yard! Have you met the dog your brother is fostering for you yet?