Growing up as an only child, Nicole Renae often felt somewhat lonely in her youth. But that all changed when she turned 10. For her birthday that year, Nicole’s grandmother surprised her with an adorable gray puppy whom she named Chloe.
From the very start, the two were inseparable.
“I just loved her to death,” Nicole told The Dodo. “She was my best friend.”
Over the next four years together, Nicole and Chloe’s bond only grew stronger. Every ounce of love Nicole would give, the little dog would return it tenfold.
“She was such a sweet dog,” Nicole said. “She’d lick your face forever if you didn’t stop her.”
Sadly, though, Nicole and Chloe’s time together was cut short.
When Nicole was 14 years old, her father got a new job working from home — but it came with a devastating caveat. The house needed to be like an office, free of audible distractions.
“He was told we couldn’t have any pets. Chloe was very yappy,” Nicole said. “We had no choice. I was just a kid, so I obviously didn’t have any choice in the matter. It was heartbreaking. I didn’t want to get rid of my dog.”
With no easier option, Nicole and her family surrendered Chloe to their local humane society. They were optimistic that the dog would find a new home with people who loved her, but saying goodbye still wasn’t easy.
“I just felt so sick and sad about it,” Nicole said. “I thought I’d never see or hear from her ever again.”
Though Chloe was no longer in her life, she never left Nicole’s heart: “As the years went on, I always thought about her. I once called the humane society to try to find out what happened to her, but they couldn’t tell me anything. So, I never knew.”
In time, Nicole grew up, got married and had a child of her own — but one thing was still missing.
Knowing the joy that having a dog had brought her as a kid, Nicole wanted to give the same to her daughter. She’d initially thought of adopting a puppy — until she ran across a post on Facebook about a senior dog needing a new home.
“I saw the picture of the dog and thought, ‘That dog looks kind of familiar.’ Then I read the name — it was Chloe. The same spelling as my old dog,” Nicole recalled. “I thought that was such a coincidence.”
It was then that Nicole decided to adopt the dog herself — not realizing yet, of course, that two were already well-acquainted.
Upon meeting her “new” dog, Nicole was struck with an uncanny feeling.
“She just ran up to me and started licking my face,” she said. “As the day went on, all these characteristics just reminded me of my old dog.”
Chloe, it seems, knew her adopter was her old friend from the start — and soon Nicole was convinced of it, too.
“She just kept hugging me. I was crying — it reminded me so much of my Chloe,” Nicole said. “I never thought I’d see my dog again, but I just knew in my heart that it was her.”
Eight years had passed since Nicole had seen Chloe last, so it’s easy to see why the notion that this was the same dog seemed like wishful thinking.
“My whole family thought I was nuts,” Nicole said. “Everybody thought I was crazy.”
But then Nicole’s mom realized that they could test the theory. Their Chloe had been microchipped as a puppy, so she contacted their old veterinarian’s office to get her ID number. Next, it was off to another vet to have this Chloe scanned. She, too, had a microchip — and sure enough:
“The numbers were an exact match. It was her,” Nicole said. “I literally felt like I’d won the lottery. It was just the best feeling. I thought I’d never see her again.”
Nicole later learned that Chloe had been adopted by an older couple shortly after being surrendered. She’d lived happily with them for many years before they passed away. The dog was adopted once more by another family, but they were not able to keep her.
Reunited with her first best friend, Chloe was finally home.
Chloe is now 11 years old, but is still as healthy and energetic as Nicole remembered her to be. And in some ways, the reunion of these two long-lost friends has made them both kids again.
“I’m so happy to have her back. I get so excited to come home from work to see her each day,” Nicole said. “This is just the best thing.”
Nicole and Chloe have lots of catching up to do, and plenty of new memories to make. So they’re picking things up right where they left off all those years ago — only this time, nothing will come between them.
“She’s made herself right at home,” Nicole said. “Chloe is happy. I think she knows now that she’ll be with me forever.”