How Charles Came Home


I traveled late in the night to visit the baby Pomeranian for the first time, and I arrived well past his bedtime. I sat down and waited anxiously until a small cotton ball was brought to me in the palm of a hand, his eyes fighting sleep with determination. I was in awe– he was so tiny! I was afraid to touch him for fear of breaking his microscopic bones, despite the breeder’s assurances that he was much sturdier than he looked. I just let him stand on my chest, watching his eyes droop down, down… then up! And again. He was incredible. 

A couple weeks later, when the puppy was old enough to come home with me, I drove to the desert again. He was bigger than when I first saw him, but still very small. We looked into each other’s eyes, his stupid puppy innocence reflecting my equally stupid uncertainty. My ears were practically ringing at this point with the lectures I’d received about the responsibility, the money, the regret.

But I knew I needed this fluff in my life. And this fluff’s name would be Charles.

The two hours it took to drive home were maddening. I couldn’t take my hand away from him because he instantly began crying. With every brake, I was terrified he would fly into the windshield. All I could think about was how tiny and fragile he was, how quickly this was happening, whether I was ready. Also frustrating was my inability to read his mind. Was he scared? Carsick? Sad? Did he like me? I feared being the villain in this little angel’s life. 

But it only took a few days for Charles to solidify himself as my son, and not my liability. 

He happily greeted the swarm of girls surrounding him in admiration upon his arrival. He slept peacefully in the blanket I bought him. He nibbled my finger affectionately with his sharp teeth, which hurt, but also dissolved my perception of his impossible fragility. Within a couple days, he followed me around with every step I took, regardless of the fact that he could barely walk himself, and carried himself in a sort of hobble.  He even stayed strong through bath time. 

Today, Charles is a charming young dog and loved member of the community. He has brought immense joy to my life, and I have not had a single second of regret about him since that drive back home. 





Mommy loves you, Charles.


Meet the Maid of Honor


Bella Visser

A dedicated piece written by Aleks Visser, Cleo’s mommy

Age: 7.5 years

Breed: Terrier mix

Once upon a time, Bella was a little puppy in a window who her future mommy saw and just could not resist. Although originally adopted against the wishes of her soon-to-be grandparents, Bella quickly managed to charm the entire family, making them slaves to her every whim. She soon became queen of the neighborhood – then dog regent of greater Los Angeles. She cared about only one thing: power.

There was only one dog who had long been prophesied to break her dark curse – her step-sister Cleo.

After the casualties of Bella’s growling reached terrifying levels, the dogs of Los Angeles united in one final battle and managed to force a meeting between the stepsisters. Even those most devoted to the prophesy were amazed when Bella’s cold heart melted, and she ran to cuddle with sweet Cleo. The dark curse was instantly lifted from the land, and the dogs lived in harmony and peace.

It is with pleasure that we announce the only dog Cleo would ever choose as her maid of honor – her best friend, Bella.