Carol, founder of Pawtivity.com and her dog, Carmella.
DAD: I’m allergic to cats.
MOM: I’m allergic to dogs.
KID ME: …What?! Really??? Do we have to get another bird?
In hindsight I probably would have been right there with my parents – no dog. Why would I want to take care of a dog on top of 4 annoying kids? No way. Still, I had always wanted a dog and by the time I got my own place, my first purchase for my new home was the perfect dog. I had waited three whole decades! It was time.
I don’t know what people expect when they buy a dog. I think many, if not all, see a dog as a fun companion and big stress reliever. They just make you happy and they’re so stinkin’ cute! Dogs teach us how to be carefree and get us out there to do more. We have one life to live, so make the most of it!
I knew I wanted a dog who would enjoy the outdoors with me. I love hiking, camping and going to the beach – all the more fun with a silly, furry sidekick at your heel to make the outing more enjoyable! I also wanted to find a dog that I could do some solo runs with and not feel creeped out being on the trail by myself. The forest can be a dark, dark place you know?!? My dog also had to be able to stand up on its own so I could worry less if we were outside. I think part of me also saw a dog as a stress reliever, something far removed away from the work world, to make me feel grounded and as a constant reminder to stop and to take it all in. We need that in our lives.
Finding a dog is hard! It also takes a long time! You know you should start considering the type of qualities, behaviors, or care requirements of a dog or breed of dog. My first choice was to get the classic Southern California choice of dog – the labrador, a chocolate one. It would have certainly fit my Southern Californian lifestyle, but my apartment would not permit larger dogs.
And now, all I have to say is… there’s just too many photos of cute puppies online to get distracted by! That’s how I came across the Patterdale Terrier. They kind of look like a chocolate lab… oh so cute, so cute… yep sucked right in. This is completely the wrong way to pick a dog, but it was that easy of a choice for me. All reason went out the window. Enter, Carmella.
It was love at first sight. I drove 2 hours to go see a litter of newborn chocolate patterdale pups and was surprised to see them starting back at me with the most incredible blue eyes. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of this. I learned later that the litter was born on my birthday on October 5th – so it must be destiny right? I just had to take one home! … yep sucked right in again. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
Each day was a new discovery into who Carmella was and what she liked to do. A few things were very clear – she never seemed to tire and always wanted to play! Always! I remember thinking how much she reminded me of a proud little deer as a puppy because she zoomed around everywhere and had this hop hop hop about her as she pranced around my feet and darted across the room. Carmella was sure a boundless little furball of energy! She never tires, even now at 5 years old!
The first few months were rather rough. Puppy teeth are sharp and puppy frenzy was sometimes at it’s worst. She’d make these crazy wild dashes around the room or spin around and then jump all over the place. She loved to chase after everything and always had a ball next to her to play with. I still love to watch her on her back pawing and mouthing away at a ball. I knew apartment life was not for her when I came home one day to find a 4 foot section of carpet ripped down to the sponge padding. All this from a 10 inch long cuddly monster I could pick up with one hand. The damage was done and we left apartment life for the better. I needed to find better outlets for her to play and help her be the dog she truly is.
The video below gives you a glimpse of her puppy energy. Here she is chasing another dog, Nala, 3 years older than her. Carmella sure is one crazy pup! And I love her for it. The video isn’t the best as Carmella clearly attacks the video taker huddled in the corner of the sofa…. watch and enjoy! Poor Nala… she tries so hard to “babysit” Carmella while mommy is away.
I’m glad I never got that chocolate lab because I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect than my little snuggle monster! I pick her up all the time and hug her to pieces! Yeah… she hates that, but will tolerate it just for me. Snoozing on the sofa? She’s there right next to you – ahhhhh.
Carmella is my amazing pup, my motivational cheerleader when I need to get my butt up and do something, and my partner in crime in enjoying life to its fullest.
If I say “park” or “hike” she always perks up and looks at me. Then, off she goes running toward the door ready for our adventure. When she looks back at me from the door, I always think she says, “Let’s go already!” I reply, “Ok, Ok girl. Let’s Go!”
And so, on to our adventures!
Life is perfect with my little dog at my side. I love you Carmella!
Carol & Carmella
President & Pup, Pawtivity
Carmella is #myamazingpup. She’s my motivational cheerleader and the ultimate snuggle monster. She keeps me active and loves to play! Let’s go already! #adventuredog #loveyourdog #amazingpup #pawtivity #pawtivitypup #patterdale #running #hiking #discdog #fetch #agility #getoutside #coffeebuddy #snugglepup @carmellaohbella
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Carol Chi and Carmella have been a dynamic duo since 2012. Carmella loves to play and sure challenges her owner to do do more adventures together!