She's been in the lives of my boyfriend and me for only about three months now, but she has filled every day out of those three months with so much craziness, laughs, love, and cuddles. (So, so many cuddles.)
I'm the first to admit that both my boyfriend and I spoil her beyond belief...she sleeps with us on our bed every night, most nights with her head on one of our pillows...even though she has a huge, fluffy bed complete with a quilt and multiple throw pillows herself. She gets daily treats, so many toys that we have to hide some so she doesn't rip all of them to shreds, and a sweatshirt that she actually loves to wear. (Seriously, she loves it. I don't get it either.)
I could go on, but you get it - the bottom line is that we love Clover so much and are way too happy to give her her best, most comfortable life. There are a lot of people who would roll their eyes after reading that and ask, "Why do you spoil her so much? It's just a dog."
And to that, I would say: yes, in all technicalities, she is just a dog. But, to us, she is also so much more than that.
My boyfriend and I were visiting the Fredericksburg SPCA back in October when we first saw Clover. We actually almost passed right by her kennel without noticing there was a dog in it because she was curled up so small in the furthest corner of her cage - but, thankfully, we realized she was there and wanted to see her. It took almost a full minute of both of us kneeling down in front of her kennel and gently calling her before she uncurled herself and ever-so-slowly walked over to us, with her head hung low and avoiding eye contact. When she met us at the front of the kennel, it was obvious she had been through something awful - there were recent scratches all over her snout, and her face and joints were rubbed almost entirely raw. She immediately laid down in front of us, pressing her head against our fingers so we could scratch her through the cage. The three of us sat there like that for a while, Clover even closing her eyes and slightly falling asleep as we pet her.
It was pretty much decided at that point - we walked more around the shelter, greeting some of the other dogs (who were absolutely wonderful in their own ways and equally deserving of a home), but both of us were sold on Clover. The shelter staff were elated about us choosing her, many giving their own testaments as to how great and loving she was. We were told that she had been transferred to the Fredericksburg SPCA just a little over a week ago, after spending over a year in another shelter without any adoption interest - which, the staff explained to us, was a common, last-ditch attempt used by many shelters for animals who can't seem to land a home. We were also told she had given birth to a litter of puppies right before getting picked up by the previous shelter and came from a likely abusive backyard-breeder situation - which just made us want her more. We ended up taking her home that very same day, and ever since then, she has been so, so spoiled.
We give her so much love because she still flinches every time you raise your hand above her face or pick up a leather belt. We let her sleep with us on our bed - even though she has her own - because her joints and paws used to be rubbed raw after spending years lying on dirt and concrete floors.
We spoil Clover because her whole body starts uncontrollably shaking when anyone yells at her. We give her so much attention because she never felt human touch or kindness in the first few years of her life. We buy so many treats and bones for her because she still won't take any food from our hands and always looks around nervously while she eats. She has so many toys to play and run around with because she was never given the chance to play or be a dog before; she was only used for backyard-breeding.
We actively try to spoil her and give her the most amazing, happy life because she had such an awful one before. We are glad to give her all of the cuddles and human attention she wants because it's practically all she ever wants, even though humans treated her so badly before - which, to me, is nothing short of a miracle.
Humans have such a unique, important ability to completely change a dog's circumstance and give them a second chance at life - that's why my boyfriend and I spoil Clover beyond belief. She has endured so much pain and abuse from the hands of other people, so every single day we do our best to give her the most happiness and love we possibly can. It's a slow process, but we're helping to make her realize that she will never be abandoned or hurt by anyone ever again.
So, that is why we spoil our dog, Clover. And we'll never, ever stop.
Also, if you're seeking a furry companion, please adopt from your local animal shelter and give an animal a second chance at life.
To end this article, here is a photo of Clover in her favorite sweatshirt for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome.