Robbie Love and Grace Ballard both said that when they graduated they were going to get a dog. So when Love graduated from ETSU last December, they decided to follow through with that promise.

Ballard is currently a pre-med student and a member of ETSU’s dance team while Love graduated with a degree in business management. The pair met in high school and have been a couple for six years. They began looking for a puppy to add to their family just before Love graduated.

“We were in Greeneville, and we went to an animal shelter,” said Love. “They had a blue heeler mix, and we loved it, and ever since then we knew that we wanted a blue heeler.”

Love and Ballard began searching for a blue heeler puppy and eventually found a blue heeler of their own in a farm auction through Craigslist.

“She did all of the searching,” said Love. “There were a few that we looked at before him, but none of them really worked out until we found him.”

Love and Ballard said his floppy ears were what really made him stand out. The puppy was located on a farm in Sevierville, and the couple knew they had to act fast if they wanted to bring him home.

“We actually went during finals week, because they said if we waited another week he would be gone,” said Ballard. “It was either get down there and get him, or he was going to be somebody else’s.”

The couple named him Bleu. He is now almost five months old, and the star of his own Instagram page called @bleu.the.heeler. Love and Ballard use the Instagram to help friends and family keep up with Bleu’s adventures and growth.

“It was her idea,” said Love. “She had mentioned it when we first got him, but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to be like everyone else, but then eventually she decided to go ahead and make one and I was like, well, alright.”

The Instagram page currently has about 80 followers.

“It’s a good way for our friends to keep up with him,” said Ballard. “Robbie’s mom comments on all the pictures. She loves it.”

Whether posing for pictures in the park or taking a ride in the car, the couple both agree that Bleu has made a big impact in both of their lives.

“The other day Robbie had taken him home to see his family, and I sat there all day and was so sad because he wasn’t there,” said Ballard.