The PetRelocation team will happily accept any opportunity to celebrate our pets, and Valentine's Day is one of our favorite times to shine the spotlight on the cats and dogs we go home to every night.
Obviously our pets are our #1 Valentines, but this year we're answering a specific question: How did you know your pet was 'The One'? Get ready for some adorable stories…
Bethany, Client Care Manager: I knew Goonie was the one for me on the 4th of July, the day I rescued her. She was scared of the fireworks that night, but was trying to be tough about it by barking at them. Eventually, she gave in and snuggled really close to me under the covers before falling asleep and snoring loudly all night. To this day, she is still the best “little spoon” ever! :)
Tim, Pet Relocation Consultant: I have a dog and her name is Hufflepuff. She is weird, sometimes wild, fluffy, scruffy, and basically the cutest dog I have ever encountered and had the privilege to hug. My girlfriend Alanah and I had been discussing getting a dog for a couple of months. Every week we almost went to Austin Pets Alive! to adopt one, but talked ourselves out of it ever time, saying that we weren’t ready for a dog.
While at work, Alanah would send me links to dogs on APA’s website. Most were cute, others were too old. I had expressed that I did not want a girl dog, much less a small, wiry haired dog (I have had bad luck with girl dogs in the past). One day, she sent me a link to small, wiry haired, girl dog and said “I think this is the one”.
At the time, the Huff’s name was Starburst and she looked like an ugly, wire-haired dog. I got off work and went to APA with Alanah. They took us back to see “Starburst”. She was sitting on a pillow, alone, and surrounded by a bunch of loud, obnoxious dogs. When I made eye contact with her, she gave be the look of “please get me out of here.” We played with her for the required thirty minutes and we both fell in love with her. It turns out, you can’t judge a dog by a picture or name.
Hufflepuff (formerly Starburst) has since become the scruffy, fluffy (not wiry) love of our lives. She has been though a few medical complications, but was a champ and is now just has happy and playful as ever. I do not know what I would do without my canine best friend. She is the best dog I could have ever asked for.
Keith, Senior Client Care Specialist: MayBelle was a stray that found her way to my door, and now she watches the movies with me that no one else will. #truelove
Rachel, Chief of Staff: I’ve been crazy about Golden Retrievers since I was a kid when one of my best friends growing up introduced me to her two Goldens. When I turned 13, my mom surprised me by taking me to pick up a one-year old rescue Golden Retriever named Gus. He was an amazing dog and the best friend a teenage girl could ask for. After many loyal years by my side, Gus passed away from stomach cancer at age 13. I waited seven years before getting another Golden.
My second Golden, Charlie, was a rescue from Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue in Houston, Texas. Charlie was a beautiful boy with an endless enthusiasm for swimming and a huge, adoring smile. He passed away much too young last July from a devastating fight against bone cancer. Shortly after Charlie passed, I decided that I was going to get another Golden and enter him in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Health Study, an incredible study by the Morris Animal Foundation that is working to study what causes cancer in dogs. In order to participate in the study, dogs have to be under 2 years and have at least 3 generations of known bloodlines – something my other two Goldens, who were strays I had adopted at around a year old, did not have.
I began researching responsible breeders and my research led me to Stanroph Golden Retrievers, an English Golden Retriever breeder on the southern coast of Spain known for their healthy, beautiful dogs. After working in the pet moving industry for almost 10 years, I thought I would be well prepared for bringing my puppy into the US from Spain, but I also knew it would require a lot of research! Fortunately, PetRelocation has tons of free pet travel resources I was able to use to plan my puppy’s trip.
My puppy was born in December, and just two weeks ago, when he was finally old enough to come home, my husband and I traveled to Spain to pick him up. No one told me how hard picking out “the one” would be! All I knew was that I wanted a male dog, and there were four adorable boys to choose from. But, as they say, “the one” picks you.
After sitting on the floor playing with the four puppies for a while, three of them got drowsy and piled up in a little heap to go to sleep. The breeder had marked each puppy with a different color to distinguish them and “Mr. Pink” was the last man standing. Out of habit, I started playing a game with him that I had played with Gus as a child, having him chase a toy underneath my legs and around in circles. Suddenly, I felt like I was looking at both Gus and Charlie, a beautiful, fuzzy blend of spirit, strength, and loyalty. As his big eyes became drowsy, “Mr. Pink” sat down between my husband and I, staring up at both of us, ready for an adventure. That’s when I knew he was “the one.” And don’t worry – the name “Mr. Pink” didn’t stick. We’ve named him Bravo, Spanish for brave.
Sarah, Senior Pet Relocation Consultant: I always wanted a Goldendoodle—a big, teddy bear looking dog. But then I thought, how funny would it be to get one specifically because she looks like me!? So I began my search for a redheaded Goldendoodle. They’re really hard to find! It’s kind of like children—hard to predict if you’ll get a redhead out of a red dad and a golden mom or vice versa. So, I looked for a breeder that specifically bred Irish Setters to Red Poodles, making the chances of red hair a guarantee!
I found one in Indiana, just a few hours south of my parents’ house in Michigan. A winter snow baby, just like me! How could I pass this up? I named her Reba due to her red hair and hopefully sassy attitude. Reba and I have gotten comments such as “look at your little doppelganger!” or “I’m a hair colorist and I don’t know how you matched your dog’s coat perfectly to your hair, but your hairdresser is a magician!” (my hair is naturally red, by the way).
I loved her the instant I saw her little puppy butt wagging in a video my breeder sent. And when I picked her up, forget about it—that SMELL! Intoxicating! I’m in love with Reba. She stole my heart that day!
Rebecca, Pet Relocation Trainer: I knew Stryker was the one when he became putty in my lap!
I fell in love with the Bernese Mountain Dog breed as soon as I read about them in a Dog Encyclopedia. They had the perfect combination of fluff, size and sweet temperament toward humans and other animals. From then on I knew my first dog would be a Berner. After years of scouting for breeders, I flew to Colorado to pick out the new puppy I had only been able to dream about.
I arrived to find only two male puppies remained. One was absolutely striking in color with perfect markings and a gorgeous face. The other had a spotty cow nose, white socks that went half way up his legs and a thin white Mohawk down his neck. I was handed the picture perfect puppy first only to quickly find out he had quite a voice. He cried and squirmed in my arms, so I quickly put him down to watch him further. He pounced and played but reacted similarly when my sister picked him up.
I asked to hold the other puppy, who sweetly snuggled in my arms and even seemed to love my kisses! Sitting on the couch, I placed him on my legs on his back; his head relaxed and his ears flopped back, making me laugh. I had never seen anything so cute or trusting.
From there on I knew he was the one! His spotty cow nose did finally turn black, I found out his white mohawk is called a “Swiss Kiss” (a good luck mark), and it has now blended to his coat and only his white boots remain.
Evelyn, Pet Relocation Consultant: I knew VV and I were meant for each other the minute we met. As corny as it sounds, I felt like we shared a deep level of understanding from the beginning. Sometimes I look at her and it’s like staring in the mirror!
Kelley, Director of HR: Shortly after we got married, my husband, an Air Force Captain at the time, was being sent on assignment to the Middle East and he wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be lonely while he was gone. We needed a dog.
After taking an online quiz (What dog fits your lifestyle?) – the #2 suggestion was Norwegian Lundehund. Our initial reaction was “What’s a Lundehund?” We had never heard of the breed and, of course, started to research. “Dogs with six toes? Dogs who have articulated shoulders? Dogs who can touch the back of their heads to their spines? Almost went extinct during WWII? Only 2000-2500 of them in the world? And cute too?”
Lucky for us, there was woman on the East Coast who was breeding Lundehunds, and she had two puppies from a recent litter who still needed a home. We drove the four hours to Cary, North Carolina and it was love at first sight. The puppy fell asleep in my arms, exhausted from a long day of playtime, while we were talking to the woman. At that point my husband said he knew we weren’t coming home without him. It was a done deal.
Now a senior canine, Dante has been through four moves in his life. He still romps about in the morning with junior barker, Modi (another Lundehund) and Skipper, the Sheltie. He’s my four-legged baby and will celebrate his 14th birthday in April. It was love at first sight and each day that he’s been in my life is a wonderful gift.
Tom, HR Specialist: An animal-loving family in the country who unexpectedly ended up with a litter chose to give their puppies to good homes in hopes of keeping them out of the shelter. We drove an hour into the boonies outside of Austin, down a driveway that can best be described as a dried up creek bed. Even at 8 weeks old, Leo’s personality showed through and we knew we had found our boy!
Happy Valentine's Day to all the pet lovers out there! Feel free to share your own “meet cute” pet stories in the comments—we'd love to read them.