Sonia contacted me recently after reading through our Heart Dog series. She told me the story of her heart dog, Nala, who changed her life, by – among other things – helping her decide what kind of business to start. Nala and Sonia have been together four years now. Nala was recently diagnosed with chronic liver disease, but Sonia and Nala are living their lives to the fullest, together, every day.
It broke my heart to have to hand her back to someone else that evening. I told Nala’s owner that if she ever changed her mind about the puppy, she should call me. In the days that followed, I couldn’t get Nala out of my mind but didn’t think I’d ever see her again. After two long weeks I got the call: “Are you still interested in that puppy?”
My brother and I went to pick her up within the hour. We took her back to my now-husband’s house, where I think both my brother and husband originally thought I was falling a bit too hard for puppy cuteness. It took just 10 minutes of seeing Nala and me together before they both said what I felt: this dog was meant for me.
Nala is everything I’ve ever wanted in a dog. She’s really smart and eager to please, which makes her unbelievably easy to train. But she’s also a little sassy, so there are times she’ll pretend she didn’t hear a command. She really keeps me on my toes. Nala is wonderful with kids and knows how to adjust her behavior around kids of different ages. Before I got her, I said I wanted my dog to look like a dog, not any particular breed; I got my wish with a dog whose heritage was only identifiable thanks to DNA testing. She loves to snuggle and has no idea that she’s grown way past lapdog status.
Nala and I are attuned to each other stronger than I ever thought possible. As an example: My husband used to call me just after I left work and ask if I had left. Invariably, I’d say yes and ask how he knew (there was no schedule to my schedule). His answer every time was that Nala had gotten up and was waiting for me by the door. Somehow, even though the time varied, she always knew when I was leaving the office and heading home to her.
Nala completely changed my life. My husband and I had wanted to start a business for a while, but we didn’t know what that business would be. After adopting Nala, I grew frustrated with how hard it was to find cool stuff big enough for her. That idea grew into PawPosse.com, and my life hasn’t been the same since. I’m living my dream and it’s all thanks to her. Best of all, I get to work with Nala at my side every day. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but our bond is even stronger now.
Earlier this year, Nala was diagnosed with chronic liver disease. While we’ve got it under control now and Nala is doing well, her vet has warned me that Nala will not get the full life span we would otherwise expect for her. It was crushing to hear but in a way it’s been a positive thing too. While no dog ever lives long enough for our liking, it’s a constant reminder to cherish every day I get to share with Nala.