Aloha from Maui, Friend,
Thank you for so many kind words about the first part of Chloé’s EverPup story. I appreciate it.
It’s been a few years (erm, decades) since I last wrote from the heart of my love for a dog … and I am gratified that it’s been well received.
Today I will tell you how my new little rescue, Chloé, has gained a newfound sense of freedom, and with it, confidence.
All Belly Rubs…All the Time
Chloé is super adorable and extra cuddly. When she first came to live with us, she would roll over and present her belly to just about anyone.
It didn’t matter if she already knew the person or had just met them.
See a person, drop to her back; that was Chloé’s only greeting.
It was utterly charming. It still is.
Who could resist this vulnerable pose?
Our neighbors were all smitten. She collected lots of belly rubs and coos of “aren’t you so sweet.”
You might be thinking “hey, didn’t they all already know Chloé? She’d been living in the neighborhood for years at that point!”
But no, most neighbors didn’t know Chloé.
That’s because her mom had basically been living like a shut-in for the last few years.
Chloé the Shut-In
Chloé had also been shut in. Even though Chloé has lived in our neighborhood since 2019, my wife Molly and I are two of the few who really knew this delightful dog.
Because her mom, Jeannette, was in so much pain, Chloé wasn’t taken for many walks. Chloé had the run of her backyard, but that was it on most days.
But even before she came to live with Jeannette, Chloé was a shut in, but for different reasons.
Small Boys, Big Dogs
When we first saw Chloé in a Facebook post back in 2019, Molly had a conversation with Chloé’s mom via Messenger.
Clearly, this was a sweet woman who loved dogs very much. In fact, she had two dogs already before she got Chloé as a puppy.
But those were much bigger dogs. They could handle her two young boys and their rough playing.
Chloé’s mom posted that Chloé wasn’t like her other dogs. For almost two years, she had tried to make it a loving home for the little maltipoo, but to no avail.
Chloé spent a lot of time hiding from the big dogs. They liked to chase her.
She also hid from the little boys. They didn’t quite understand that she wasn’t as tough as their toys.
Chloé’s mom had hoped for a little pocket dog who could travel with her.
But Chloé was afraid of the car.
Like, really, really afraid.
Her mom wasn’t going to chance her on a plane.
So Chloé had to stay home when her mom traveled.
Chloé spent a lot of time alone and hiding while Mom was away.
Her mom realized that Chloé was getting sad and lonely.
And that’s why she posted on Facebook that she was looking for a new home for her little girl.
I think the hardest thing to do as a dog lover is to admit when it isn’t working out.
I think the bravest and kindest thing you can do in situations like this is let your dog go to a better home.
And Chloé’s mom was that kind of brave.
Small Yard, Big Circles
When Chloé went to live with Jeannette, Jeannette was in her eighties and still going to the gym and taking yoga classes. They could go for walks and play.
But when Jeannette got sick and lost her strength, she stopped being able to move as well. Things went downhill from there.
Pretty soon, Jeannette was just letting Chloé out in her back yard to relieve herself.
It was a nice backyard, too! Chloé loved it.
She would run in circles all around the walled yard, round and round and round. There were no dogs to chase her, but occasionally a feral cat would drop over the wall and dash through.
When Chloé ran around in circles, she was like a greyhound on a track: following the exact same path each time. There was even an actual trail through the grass and the gravel she made as she ran.
It was a case of the zoomies, each time.
Chloé had a lot of energy to run off.
At the end of a long marathon session, Chloé loved to plop herself on a slab of concrete in Jeannette’s backyard, and warm herself in the mid-day Hawaii sun.
She still does that.
Every day after we give her lunch, we all three traipse out to the backyard. Molly and I sit and chat on the lanai in the shade, and Chloé goes out to the hottest part of our yard and sits in the sun.
Leashed Circles …
Chloé’s shut-in habits have been some of her hardest to deal with.
For the first month or two that she lived with us, Chloé kept running in circles, even when we walked in straight lines.
It was really exhausting.
Frankly, I didn’t always have the patience for it. It was hard.
Chloé would flat-out run … and then stop short every five or six steps to spin in circles.
At first the circles were huge. She’d stop, turn to the left, dash into the street, then loop back to the sidewalk, up onto the yard, and back to my side.
It felt to me like she was doing this because she was confused.
Like she didn’t know she was on a leash or how to walk on one.
Like she was thinking “uh oh, I’m outside, time to run in circles!”
I would click my tongue and step forward, and she would step with me for a few paces … and then make another loop.
This happened every walk — for the entire walk.
Some days we couldn’t get more than half a block before I decided to turn back.
After all, she had covered the equivalent of four or five blocks due to her circling. And I was tired of holding that twisting leash.
We’d get back after thirty minutes of not-walking and Molly would ask how it went.
“Not good,” I’d answer.
And then there was the car.
… and Terror Rides
I work from home, and we can walk to the beach, so many days we don’t use our car at all. So for the first month, we avoided putting Chloé in the car.
We knew what she was like from Jeannette, and we knew that her first mom had also warned us about car rides.
Both of her moms told us that Chloé cried and scrambled around in the car. They had cautioned that no amount of coaxing or cuddling helped. Chloé just hated it. Period.
At first, Chloé panted all the time in the car with us, too. She also whined and screamed in terror every time we put on the turn signal.
On Christmas Day 2022, we took a long car ride to Hana. It was a gorgeous Maui day. I was thinking that eventually she would calm down.
For most of that several hour trip, Chloé protested with wild noises.
Molly declared that Chloé “screams like a tiny woman.” Chloé was so panicked she tried repeatedly to throw herself out the window as we drove.
Her pants and cries filled our car. Molly got scratched up. It was not fun.
We ended up cutting our ride short. I stopped at an empty golf course way off the highway to let her out for a run on the way home.
She ran all right: down the path and at least two fairways away before finally turning around.
She wasn’t trying to get away from us. She had just lost her mind with fear. She needed to RUN off that pent up energy.
Eventually, we all sat on the grass and had lots of fun. Then walking back to the car was like leading a convict to the gallows.
She did NOT want to get in the car.
We all felt exhausted by the time we got home. Molly seethed that I had “ruined Christmas” by trying to take a nice ride with this foster who hated car rides.
So we didn’t try again for a while. We all needed time to regroup.
No car rides meant Chloé was limited to where we could go on foot in our neighborhood.
Her life had expanded by coming to our home … but not by as much as we knew was possible.
I hoped that the EverPup she was gobbling up at each meal would be helping her to gain more freedom.
Coat … and Mind … on EverPup
All the while that we are talking about, for this first month, Chloé was getting EverPup every day.
Her skin and coat were improving. Her coat was dramatically softer. Chloé resembled a little lamb.
She got a trim from our groomer, and the hair that was left was the super-white we expected for a maltipoo. (And it’s only gotten shiner and whiter since.)
That’s a picture of Chloé right after her first grooming, after a month on EverPup. She is less camera-shy now, and this is one of the first images she let us take without ducking her head. See how white she is? That’s what she could have looked like all these years!
But we didn’t expect any other changes so soon. After all, any supplement takes time to build up in the system.
EverPup is designed to “fill in the gaps,” not to blast the body. Every scoop has dietary levels (not potent levels) of apoptogens, omega-3’s, probiotics, and other good ingredients.
Dr. Dressler formulated it to be a gentle, ongoing support for dogs all life long. It’s not supposed to “act fast.” We like to say “give it for a couple of months and see what happens.
Still, I wasn’t expecting what I saw in Chloé’s attitude.
Still a Cuddler, but More Independent
Chloé was only 5.5 pounds when she came to us and is about 6 now. So she’s really small, and with her propensity to cuddle, easy to carry.
She sort of drapes herself over your shoulder.
That draping gave me an idea about how to make her more comfortable in the car.
I thought maybe Chloé would like it if she was in a cuddly booster seat. So we tried the one we used with Kanga and Roo.
Well, she didn’t love it. She did drape herself over it, but not over the basket, as I had hoped. Instead she sort of hung her body over the side, trying to get out!
You can see from the expression on her face that she is stressed out. That little tongue poking out isn’t a good sign, either.
Even so, we started taking her on very short rides, with plenty of cuddles in between.
After all, as responsible foster parents, we wanted to find her a good home. And we knew that not riding in a car could be a dealbreaker for many people.
(It was for us, after all … we thought at the time.)
Then eventually, we saw Chloé adapting, little by little.
She stopped screaming, for one.
That was a nice change.
Once she was calm enough to handle the extra stimulation, we started driving her to the beach, so she could get a quick reward for a quick, calm car ride.
We were impressed that on these short trips, she was calming down.
She liked the beach. We could tell she liked the freedom.
Up until then, Chloé had never been anywhere but a backyard, a crate, or shut in a room by herself.
You could tell that she was both thrilled and confused by her freedom. But she always ran back to me, just like she did on her very first day with us.
Look at that smile! We had never before seen a huge smile like that on this dog’s face. Even with her tell-tale EverPup green beard, she was adorable.
As the months went by, we took longer trips, and introduced new travel options.
Does she spend a ton of time in this bag? No, but we do find her napping in it. And when we use it, she doesn’t seem to mind it.
As I mentioned in my first post, we officially failed as foster parents on Valentine’s Day, 2023.
Chloé wasn’t yet “good” in the car. That took another couple of months on EverPup and with patient training.
(Frankly, she still isn’t perfect. She occasionally squeals in the car – all the way to the beach. But on the way home, she’s quiet, so we think the squeals are more about impatience and not fear.)
Here she is in early May, happy and hair in beach waves, in her booster seat.
In fact, she insists on a car ride every morning. When we take her out after breakfast, she refuses to go for a walk. Chloé has deemed that walks in the neighborhood are for the evenings. Mornings are for the beach!
Walks in the morning should be somewhere else: after a car ride!
Here she is just a couple weeks ago, calmly watching out the window on Molly’s lap on her way back from a morning adventure.
In the months since she joined our family, Chloé’s freedom has grown exponentially.
She now walks in a straight line on a leash, dashes over the sand, plays with other dogs, and happily goes for car rides.
We hope for a lot more for her.
Her very first mom was right: she is very portable.
Wouldn’t it be nice to travel with Chloé?
Taking her on a plane isn’t a challenge any of us are up for …at least not yet.
I’m going to wait until she’s been on EverPup — and trained with patience and love — for at least a year before we try that adventure.
In the meantime, Chloé has taught me a lot about freedom.
I used to think that freedom was about going wherever I wanted and doing whatever I wanted.
But watching Chloé makes me think it’s also about an internal state of mind.
Freedom from fear and anxiety is what I’m seeing happen to Chloé.
The cognitive support EverPup provides has no doubt helped her, just like it did for my heart dog Kanga.
One of our “Chloé tricks” has been to call car rides “adventures.”
As in “Chloé, are you ready to go on an adventure?”
That word is magic for Chloé.
It doesn’t just mean car rides.
It means NEW.
When I say that word to her, Chloé knows she is going to go somewhere she hasn’t been before.
It might be a rocky outcrop on our regular beach she hasn’t climbed.
Or it could be a new street, or a new park.
It could be a visit to a friend’s house.
Whatever it is, Chloé is up for it.
Chloé is no longer shut in– in her life or in her mind.
Chloé is freer than she’s ever been.
Seeing this transformation has deeply affected me. I am looking for more opportunities throughout the day to “lean in” to the freedoms I enjoy and really savor them.
Chloé is teaching me a lot. I’ll write more about that soon.
Until next time, be well, and I wish you and your dogs a very warm aloha.
CEO and Co-Founder
PS: EverPup is Buy Two Get One FREE all August long, while supplies last. Our 100% money-back taste guarantee is extended from 30 to 90 days, too … all August long.
PPS: Since you read this far, you get a special gift in honor of Chloé: a second FREE jar of EverPup on top of the first free jar. All month long, if you put THREE jars of EverPup in your cart and then use the coupon code CHLOE, the cart will give you four jars for the price of two. That will make this month’s Buy Two Get One FREE offer a Buy Two Get Two FREE offer … a 120-day supply for the price of 60, with a 90-day guarantee. This is only while supplies last.