Kloe: a sneak peek

As mentioned a few posts ago the tag line of this Golden Kali blog has changed to “Kali’s New Life In The Mountains“.  It used to be “Kali’s New Life In America” but it’s been almost two years since she arrived and we are now off to new adventures in the Sierra Foothills.

Kali will have a new companion beginning next week.  Her name is Kloe and she is an eight week old Golden Retriever.

So while this post provides a sneak peek to the new pup who joins our pack next week, it’s mostly about why Holly and I feel compelled to bring more craziness love into our lives.  Especially during a time of significant transition.

(BTW Kloe is pronounced Chloe but spelled with a K because well, because of Kali… makes sense, right?…)

My sister Victoria and  I came out of the same womb, had the same parents and same wonderful childhoods growing up in Suburbia USA.  But we couldn’t be more different in so many ways… Last week I called Vicki to update her on our move and tell her we were getting a new pup. My sister is only four years older than me but at times we seem a generation apart.  She scolds me gives me “motherly” advice and has a hard time understanding or relating to many of the life choices Holly and I make; like moving to the mountains…

So when I told her about Kloe she didn’t offer congratulations but she did offer many cautions and some of the aformentioned motherly advice.  Vicki says, “Michael, puppies are a lot of work.  Do you really know what you’re getting into?  That puppy is going to pee all over your new house”.  I was a little hurt but not surprised.  I love my sister and as we’ve aged I’ve come to see her as the beautiful loving person she is.  She married late, never had children, and has always been a loving aunt to my kids.  She is also a sincere  animal lover donating time and money to various animal causes.  Maybe in this case just not a lover of animals who may  make her brother’s life hectic and dirty his house…  🙂  She is compelled after almost 60 years to take care of me and I love her for that.

This morning I received an email from Vicki apologizing for “being a downer” when I told her about the puppy. The email was an appreciated but not necessary gesture.  After all we’re siblings so why start apologizing now!   As I went to delete the email I paused and decided to respond.   This is what I wrote:

Vicki – Thanks for your email.   No apology necessary.  Crazy how life works sometimes….

Why do many people have kids?  They’re a lot of work, heartache at times, and cost a lot of money.  They break things, make messes, and demand your attention when you’re too tired to even think let alone play a game or throw a ball.   Yet we have them, mostly on purpose, and once our children are born we have no regrets.  Why?  Because kids are unconditional love,  they’re innocent (at least for a while), they’re fun, they keep us young at heart, they make us feel secure and make us feel complete.  Children complete the family unit and sometimes the more the better.

I think for me this is why, especially now that the kids are grown,  we have dogs.  All the same rationale above about children apply.  

Crazy huh?…
– Love, Michael


I’ve never thought about having a dog in these terms before. At least not consciously.  But this morning at 7:00 am as I read my sister’s message on my iPhone with Kali lying by my side it was perfectly clear and I felt compelled to reply.   Although Vicki had no children family has always been paramount to her and she will understand and agree with my rationale and emotions.  She may not even care if Kloe has an “accident” when I bring her over to visit.


Kloe, sitting with the red collar


Kloe and her sisters.  I wish we could bring home the Trio!


When I brought Bing! home, the economy was in the tank ( luckily, I got Bing! at a fire sale… ). Peggy was initially nonplussed, somewhat at a loss, and somewhat peeved. Knowing that her reaction might land me in the dumpster for a while, I trusted my instincts and my purpose for bringing a dog into our lives. I knew it might take two days, two weeks, even two months; but Peg would fall in love with Bing! and that would be that. Gingerly, I summarized similar reasons, nearly identical to those that you outlined in your essay. I think the only difference was we were living lean, very lean; I knew Bing! would lift our spirits, bring new joy and that he would be an ever loving companion to us all during those stressful times. Now that Sophie has been away at school, and for the first time, staying at school throughout the Summer, Bing!’s presence is all the more comforting. My favorite thing that Bing! does epitomizes his complete raison d’ être; when Peg and I are in a hug, usually first thing in the morning, Bing! quickly runs up, and standing on both hind legs and stretching both fore paws, he joins us in our morning ritual. Life is good. We are all together ready to start the new day. Have great fun in your new adventure ! Oh, and say hi to Vicki for me… Cheers ol’ friend.

OK, full disclosure I had to look up the meaning of raison d’ être, but yes; this is one of the purposes dogs must instinctively have. That is to be with us with their entire mind, body, and soul. As always great to hear from you and know that Bing! is such an important part of your pack.

Aww, Kloe is adorbs (and looks as lovely as her namesake Kloe Kardashian). Your sister could easily be mine who despite having had kids, can sometimes interject her opinions which are vastly different than mine into my life. You have to smile and say “bless her heart” and know she shares her opinions out of love. I think most families have one. 🙂

Personally I’m envious of your decision to pick up and head to the hills. I’d love to do something similar but can’t quite seem to break free of the familial judgments…real and perceived. Good for you! Wishing you all the best with the new adventure and newest pack member.

I’m so glad that Kali is going to have a sister (adopted, at least)! And I think you outlined the reasons people get dogs perfectly. They are a lot of work, and money, but the love they give in return is so worth it. And once our human children are gone, they do fill that emotional void in a very positive way.
I also really related to what you said about your sister! I have two, and we couldn’t be more different. We certainly don’t always understand each other, but when push comes to shove, we support each other. In the end, that’s all that really counts.
Terrific post, and I look forward to hearing more about Kloe!!!!

Thanks Ann. And yes as the Beatles so eloquently sang, “the love you take is equal to the love you make”. And who better than with your family. Look for a full update on Kloe in the next week or so once we bring her home…

I’m so excited for you and your new arrival. Jill will be taking good care of her until you are ready to take her home. She’s adorable.

Thanks Cheryl. We are thrilled. Now that we’ve met Kloe we are even more certain that this sweet girl is supposed to be part of our family. Thanks for all your help and encouragement !

I am so happy to read of Kloe’s approaching arrival! We waited and waited for the “perfect time” to add a new puppy to our little family, and then finally decided that there is no perfect time. Boy were we ever correct about that! The day we moved into our new home (just a little more than a year ago), I got the call that Tallulah was born. Definitely not the perfect time . . . but definitely the perfect addition. P.S. I know Kali will be a fabulous big sister. Put her in charge of training Kloe and all your troubles will be solved. 😉

Thanks MHL! It’s great to know that we aren’t the only ones that trust fate and destiny to do the right thing. And yes, I think my Golden Kali will be a fabulous big sissy to little Kloe.

It must have been very tempting to “throw caution to the wind” and take all three! With Kloe in the family, they’ll be all sorts of new adventures no doubt in store for you all. 🙂

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