My story began 30 years ago with a red cropped and docked male Doberman pinscher. The Nubian Sundancer, he was called, and my parents swore he had papers. This dog was one of my first memories. Unfortunately he was sent away when I was little, but I always begged to go see him, wherever he was. It wasn’t until I was about 14 years old that I realized that there was no way that Sundance could be alive. But by then it was too late, I was obsessed with dogs. I begged my parents relentlessly all my life for a dog (or to go get Sundance back), but my family is prone to allergies so the answer was always no. I made posters, and PowerPoint presentations about dogs–all dogs, but especially big dogs. Eventually, my mother got a miniature poodle. I was not entirely pleased, as I thought there would be lassie or snoopy sharing my bed with me. But, this was what I could get given the circumstances and Alex, as she was called then, was not a bad dog. Still, she was no Sundance and she always preferred my mom anyway. Fast forward to freshman year of college. I was walking through campus one day and I saw a woman walking her dogs. I sheepishly approached her and asked if I could pet them. We immediately hit it off, and I told her all about my family’s odd history with animals (my grandmother always had indoor pets even though my mother was allergic; I abandoned my dog allergies after puberty) and how one of my main goals in life was to have an amazing dog. She told me about how she volunteered every Sunday and asked me if I wanted to come. I did, of course, and that was that. For two years, all day every Sunday I was at the shelter. I got some friends to come, and I became obsessed with animal rescue. All breeds, all kinds, male and female. I swore I was going to take every last one of them home if they weren’t adopted. Luckily, every dog I bonded with found a loving and happy home. For two years I got to volunteer and not even worry about office politics, or how difficult home visits could be. For those two years I had the complete belief that it was impossible to go to a shelter and not leave with a pet. I specialized in big dogs– german shepards, rottie mixes, Doberman, and of course pitties. Those were the dogs I worked with. The harder the case, the harder I bonded.
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