My mom likes to tell me that since I was a kid, I always wanted a dog named Chicken. While I don't remember why I gravitated toward the name Chicken, when I picked up my teeny-tiny baby mini Australian shepherd, who was so soft and fluffy like a little chick, the name stuck. And ever since that day in December 2015 when I picked her up and she sat on my lap all the way home (all the while getting carsick and puking all over me), Chicken and I have been joined at the hip.
I had dogs growing up who I loved, but there is a different kind of bond that Chicken and I share. For six years, we've spent nearly every waking — and resting — moment together. She's a constant joyful, comforting presence that has made my life a million times better, especially during challenging periods. Because it's just the two of us against the world.
Chicken and I have gone through two big moves together — one from New York to Florida (and then back to New York) and another from New York to Los Angeles. Not only that, but she's been there for several relationships and then subsequent breakups. And of course, she's been by my side throughout a global pandemic.
Through all of these moments in life where it would be easy to feel isolated or alone, Chicken has been there to lift my spirits just by being there and being her raw, kooky self. One minute she'll be fast asleep, and then before I know it, she'll get a bolt of energy and start "dancing" on the bed (aka stomping and dragging her paws while growling, sneezing, and just generally getting tangled in the sheets) — and who could keep a straight face during that performance?
She's been a constant source of love and kinship — she's truly been my rock, keeping me grounded and giggling no matter what life throws my (ahem, our) way.
Having my lil Chicky by my side (or on my lap or following me to the bathroom or leading me through hiking trails) makes me feel like I can face anything that comes my way. And it's not just in the more challenging times — she makes everything more fun and makes me enjoy every moment. She's my best bud, my little partner in life, and who I know I can count on for some fish jerky-breath kisses no matter what.
Shop Aviel and Chicken's Faves from Stella & Chewy's
Credits: Photography: Aviel Kanter; Visual Design: Rebecca Hoskins