On Feb. 1, 2012, I was at work. I was on a break and innocently browsing dog-for-sale ads on my phone. We had lost our old dog – Teapot’s dad’s companion for nearly 18 years – in November 2011 and were just coming to realize we might be ready for a new dog. We’d gone to the SPCA on numerous occasions over the winter, but most dogs available for adoption were big and not suitable for apartment living. On the one occasion that we’d seen a small dog on the website, we’d arrived the next day only to find that she’d already been adopted.

Then, a posting on Craigslist caught my eye. A small-dog adoption fair was happening at a local dog boutique that evening. What would be the harm in clicking the link?

The dogs had come mostly from California and were primarily Chihuahua mixes. A few had special needs. A few were older than we’d been looking for. But there was one that stood out.

She was a small brown dog, part terrier, part poodle. About a year old, seemingly healthy, no temperament issues – aside from a fear of big dogs. She was vocal. She had flopsy ears, medium-length fur, and bright, shiny eyes. I texted Teapot’s dad the details.

“What do you think?” I asked.

“What do you think?” he replied.

Teapot’s dad emailed the founder of the organization to ask if the dog would be at the fair tonight. Yes, she would be, he reported.

When we both got home from work, we had a decision to make. But as the slow one, I would be the one making that final decision. Would we go? What would happen if we fell in love? Because dogs die. And it’s sad. It’s incredibly heart-breakingly sad. I struggled with the decision. Finally, after a long time, I said, “Let’s go see her.”


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