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My wife, Erica, was still in high school when we met. She was just getting ready to start her senior year, but wasn’t sure of where she had wanted to go to college. Although where she wanted to go was undecided, she did know that she wanted to major in Radiology. After we met and she began her final year of high school, she had narrowed her college choices down to Ferris State University and Oakland University. At the end of 2012, with me getting a job at Chrysler in Auburn Hills, she decided on Oakland University.

I’d like to think that me getting a job just a few miles down the road from the school influenced her final decision, but she tells me that she had been leaning towards Oakland over Ferris anyway. Even so, to me, it was just another sign that we were meant to be together.

Erica finished up high school and continued to live at home the remainder of the summer before moving into the dorms at Oakland in the fall of 2013. She studied there for a year while satisfying her love for animals working at PetSmart’s Doggy Daycamp. She enjoyed working and playing with the dogs, but after awhile she decided it was time for a change in both her job and the career path she was headed down.

After the first year at Oakland to pursue Radiology, Erica changed her major to nursing, and moved her studying to Macomb Community College. At the same time, she also landed a job as a Nursing Assistant at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and has been there since.

I do not remember exactly what spot in Erica’s timeline when Ella arrived into our lives, other than it was in May 2014, and Ella was my wife’s first dog. But, I do know that Ella brought out something different in her. A side of her that I hadn’t seen up to that point. The way Erica was with Ella was exactly how I could picture her someday with a child of our own, and how well she treated that little, white hair chinned pup made me fall in love with both of them even more than I already had been.

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