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  • In 2005 we bought our house in Black Mountain, NC.
    The house came with Cloe the dog. She was left by the previous family and in the weeks since they left and the house went on the market Cloe made a mess of the yard. Brindle in color, part pitbull and part catahoula, she was beautiful and sweet and didnt bark at all. So, we embraced her.
    Well, not immediately, at first we stood back. Letting her continue to dig and do her "work" on the yard. But then the first snow came and it came hard! Skipping breakfast, I leashed her and drove her up the mountain to the trainhead. Unhooked her and she ran like she was meant to lead the way. Sniffing every corner of the path, exploring the upper edges of the path then circling around to jam up the path right next to me.
    Early mornings would find us alone for many weeks after that. Our calm cool carefree mornings were the highlight of the day for both of us. She stopped digging.

    The day she got out and didn't return I had no idea what to do. I never thought of her as mine.
    Two days passed.
    Up the street my neighbor called. Cloe had been hit and was laying at the bottom of her driveway.
    I dropped everything and drove to get her.

    Even in that moment she didnt feel like mine. She was a wondering soul. And she gave me everything she could give. I packed all 70 pounds of her body into my backpack, carried her to the top of the mountain we hiked so many days that year and laid her to rest at the top. Its where she belonged from the start.
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