I first looked into the dark-brown, trusting eyes of Dusty at the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) adoption center in January of 2011. My daughter had driven me there in hopes of filling my need for a new dog.
I'd discovered they had an Australian Kelpie available for adoption. I knew these dogs were extremely intelligent, and I thought it would be fun to have one.
When we walked into the adoption center, we were greeted by a volunteer. I said I had come about the Kelpie if it was still available.
"Yes," she replied, "if you don't mind a dog who will destroy your house any time you leave it there alone."
I gulped. "That's not exactly the kind of dog I want."
She smiled wisely. "Take a look around. We have many dogs. All kinds of breeds."
I began to walk past the many cages of hopeful adoptees. Hovering in a corner at the back of a cage, a small brown-and-white Brittany Spaniel with a freckled nose caught my gaze. Her liquid-brown eyes beseeched me. I felt as though we bonded immediately. She w...