Albert the dog in New York
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The Leap that Landed Me a Home

Greetings, readers. Do you know what today is? If you guessed my birthday, you’re close, but not quite.  My People and I don’t actually know when my birthday is, so we celebrate a different anniversary—the day I adopted my was adopted by my People. Today marks the four-year anniversary of my Adoption Day.

No doubt my People and I will be celebrating (maybe with a nice lamb shank) later. They will probably take a lot of pictures and tell me how wonderful I am and how I’ve enriched their lives. But here is their dirty little secret:

I’m not the dog they wanted.

Four years ago, my People decided they were ready to look for a dog who was willing to put up with them. They had met a lovely dog that summer who had come from Animal Haven Shelter, so they were spending a lot of free time looking at pictures of adoptable dogs on that shelter’s site, hoping to find their match.

One day, they saw a photo of a Pomeranian-Poodle mix named Mr. Bernstein. Mr. Bernstein hadn’t been at the shelter as long as I had, but he was getting a lot of interest. He was an almost inconceivably adorable little fellow, with big ears and soft, shaggy, white fur. My People made an appointment to meet Mr. Bernstein that very evening. On the way there, they discussed what new name they might give him if they were approved as adopters.

However, when they got to Animal Haven, they discovered that Mr. Bernstein was a very shy dog. Although he was young, he had already been through an ordeal, having been rescued from a puppy mill. As a result, the Animal Haven people wanted to find him a home with another dog who could help teach him how to live in the normal world. The Lady and the Guy were dogless, so they wistfully withdrew their application and wished Mr. Bernstein good luck in finding the right home.*

The Animal Haven staff then suggested that they glance through the other photos on the website. Frankly, my People weren’t expecting to find a dog they’d fall for that night; after all, they had already seen those same photos before. But to be polite, they looked anyways, and the Guy said they might as well meet me. He thought that I might be tolerable because I was described as a terrier mix, which he knew implied a fair amount of intelligence.

The Lady, however, wasn’t too keen on his selection. She thought I looked deranged.

Well, maybe She had a point.

Warning: Young children and those with sensitive stomachs might want to avert their eyes.

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