Emma is nine years old; she just had her ninth birthday on February 15 of this year. She had a pretty rough start in life. I got Emma from kind of a friend of a friend; they let their (not spayed) Boxer run loose, and were absolutely shocked when she ended up pregnant. Who’d have thought, huh? Anyway, to say that they didn’t provide good prenatal care is definitely an understatement. The mother stopped nursing the puppies at about five weeks, and they were just given puppy food. Amazingly, the entire litter survived. In further piling up irresponsible actions, the owners ran a “Free to a Good Home” ad in the paper for the puppies.I met Emma for the first time when she was about eight hours old, and I fell in love with her. I still can’t say exactly what it was, but there was definitely something that made me instantly love her, something that went far, far beyond the fact that I was holding a cute, snuggly little puppy. I knew from the moment I picked Emma up that she was Emma, and that she had to be my dog. I knew this from the very depth of my being.
The trouble came in convincing my parents, since I was still in school and still living with them at the time. They were afraid that once the cute puppy stage wore off I would no longer want Emma, and they’ be stuck with a large dog they hadn’t bargained for when I graduated and moved out. I launched my “I must have Emma” campaign by borrowing her for sleepovers. The people who owned her were more than happy to get a break from her for a night or two, and this gave me the chance to let her work her magic on my parents. Obviously she did. They finally agreed to let me keep her, under the condition that I was to be totally responsible for her, and that she move out with me whenever I left home.
The rest is history. Emma has been through so much with me, and I can’t imagine not having her there for all of it. My job at the time when I got Emma was taking photographs for a real estate agent, usually of vacant houses, so I was able to take Emma with me the vast majority of the time. She’s a great car-rider, and still loves to go for a ride at any opportunity. She has been with me through moving into a teeny, tiny studio apartment, to meeting my husband (who had to pass the Emma test), moving to a different state, and buying our first home.
The best way I know to describe Emma is as spring-loaded happiness. Even at nine years old she is still extremely energetic, and loves to run and play. She loves her squeaky toys, and is great with our quirky quartet of cats. She’s always happy and smiling, and always greets me like I’m the best thing in the universe when I come home. Regardless of what kind of day I’ve had coming home to my little spring-loaded happiness girl always makes it better.