When I started talking about adopting a dog I wasn’t convinced it was the best idea. That was before I came across Carolina Hearts Aussie Rescue. After seeing the dogs on the website and submitting and application I knew adopting an Australian Shepherd was what I should do. Mom, Savannah and I had an Aussie when I was younger and she was the best dog we could have adopted. The process was long, but after a couple of months I drove to Salisbury, N.C. to meet my baby girl, Kahlua. They told me she was a very hyper dog, but that day when I met her she was calm and sweet. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The first couple of weeks after I adopted Kahlua she would wake me up at 7 a.m. every morning and wouldn’t calm down until about 10 p.m. every night. She was a full time job. It took me some time to learn how to handle her and all that comes with her excitement. I’m not going to lie, at first I was overwhelmed. I have loved her from the moment I saw her, but the non-stop playing and running was wearing me out.
One day Kahlua and I were at the dog park and she was playing fetch, which is her full-time job. She kept bringing the ball back, dropping it at my feet and nudging me. I threw the ball and as she trotted back to me the look on her face made my heart melt. The look of pure joy I saw in her eyes and smile made me realize why God brought her to me – to bring that joy into my everyday life.
Everyone had their opinions of why I shouldn’t adopt a dog before I brought Kahlua home. What about graduate school? What if you don’t have time to take care of her? What if she’s too much to handle? But regardless of those things I wanted her.
Fast forward a month or so and I packed up everything I own, Kahlua, Princess Baby and Mr. Tinkles and moved 400 miles away from home to attend Georgetown University. Now, when you first hear about a 24-year-old taking three animals with her on such a big move I bet you have a concerned look on your face, but after being here about a month I know that Kahlua has saved my life.
I only know a handful of people up here so far, and most of them work during the day. I have classes three nights a week, so sometimes I spend my days alone without speaking to a single person face-to-face. But thanks to Kahlua I’m up, I’m doing things, I’m leaving the apartment, I’m smiling, I’m laughing, I’m happy. She doesn’t let me sleep all day. She doesn’t let me lay on the couch watching TV for hours at a time. Kahlua is up, active and always wanting to do something fun. We spend our days on long walks, playing tug-of-war, going to the dog park and occasionally going shopping for new toys. We are always playing, even if I’m doing homework or studying. I can be cooking dinner, but we are still playing a mini game of fetch. I can be on the phone with my mom or boyfriend, but we are playing tug-of-war. She has taken an introverted person who has struggled with depression almost her entire life and brought laughter and happiness in a difficult time.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little lonely, just wanting to get out of the apartment. Without Kahlua I know I would lose my mind. I would spend my days sitting here alone watching TV, not talking to a single human. The best part is, she doesn’t even know how happy she makes me. She has no idea that her early morning wake up calls (which are now closer to about 8 or 9 a.m.) with her slobbery toys are the highlight of my day and that her constant need to go is bringing light into my life every day.