The First Dog Day

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By Courtney Bothun

The early months of 2015 were rough for me. My family was in disarray, I had lost a good friend, and I felt discouraged and directionless. I started to browse my local animal shelter’s website regularly, hoping their happy adoption stories could help dispel my malaise. 

One day, I opened the page and saw him. 

The shelter had christened him Putty and described him as sweet, mild-tempered, and in need of someone to shower him with toys, treats, and love. True to his name, he stuck to people like glue. I’d never meant to adopt a pet, but I knew right away that I needed him. 

The next day, my fiancé and I walked into the shelter’s cramped front room and asked to meet him. A volunteer led us to a quiet room and told us to wait. After a few anxious minutes, the door opened. He scampered in with his tail between his legs, timid and docile and desperate for affection. 

I loved him before he even worked up the nerve to press his spotty little nose into my palm. When we left the shelter that day, my melancholy stayed behind in the quiet little room where I met him.

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