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The Farm Bleat: It was love at first sight

Our eyes met through the plexiglass window and I just knew it was meant to be.

Julie 2019 mug.jpg
Julie Buntjer

All it took were those round, brown eyes looking right into mine for my heart to swell with love. Then, there was the gentle tilt of the head, a soft whine and a perceived grin that I’m pretty sure said, “Take me home and I’ll love you forever!”

That was nearly three weeks ago — in the days when life was normal. My house was tidy, my stitching within easy reach, and my winter reading program goal nearly complete.

I suppose some would have called my old routine boring, and I would tend to agree. Now, though, life has been flipped end over end. There’s no one to blame but me — it was my choice to welcome another heartbeat into my home.

It didn’t take long for the three-pound, four-legged ball of fur to have me wrapped around her paws, despite the advice of well-knowing friends to be firm, authoritative and unwavering in her training.

For the first couple of weeks, I wasn’t sure who was teaching whom.

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I’ve had dogs before — several of them, in fact. And every single one was an outside, farm dog — a medium-sized mutt found in the giveaway section of the newspaper who needed love as much as she gave it.

With an outside dog, one doesn’t worry about where they do their business. With an inside puppy, wondering and worrying about where they are every second of the day — lest they pee or leave a little nugget on the carpet — is exhausting.

After Day Two, I wasn’t sure I was ready for such a commitment. Already, I’d used more paper towels and carpet cleaner than I had during all of last year.

But she’s just so darn cute, and when she cuddles up to sleep behind my neck or on my torso in the recliner, it’s the best feeling ever.

Sure, my carpeted floors currently look more like a hopscotch game with a training pad here, a training pad there. Oh, if only there could be a training pad everywhere!

In all seriousness, she’s doing pretty well — except for the times her front half is on the training pad and her back half is on the carpet. Her pint-sized stature came with a dime-sized bladder, but did I mention how cute she is?

Chloe also came with the sharpest set of itty, bitty teeth. It isn’t just my fingers she likes to clamp down on. She’s latched onto my jaw, nose, ears and toes in her manner of ferocious fun. Don’t even get me started on her discovery of electrical cords and her penchant for pant legs and shirt sleeves.

Yes, she’s a puppy, and this stage shall pass — eventually. In the meantime, she has chew toys and rawhides and even my pair of Skechers to gnaw on. Saturday night, she was kept occupied by a new rawhide for an hour and a half while I enjoyed my first little stretch of uninterrupted stitching time since I brought her home.

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During my work day, Chloe curls up at my feet as I tappity-tap-tap on the keyboard. She’s comforting as she slumbers on my lap in the evening, she makes me laugh out loud when she barks at the box with the Quaker Oats man, she’s a fearsome competitor in tug-of-war on the living room floor, and she makes me grin when she growls in her sleep.

I imagine she must be dreaming of her adventures as Super Chloe in her sleep, because she sure had the super powers to win my heart.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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