All I wanted to do was walk into the pet store, grab some new plastic plants for my turtle tank and get back home. It sounded like a simple plan. Little did I know that there would be a pup lying in wait for me. By the end of the day I was catapulted from a happy, confident turtle owner to a fledgling dog owner.

Honestly, I did not even know they were doing dog adoptions that day. I was in a rush and wanted to get in, out and home. It was a typical busy day at the mall, so I had to stand on the curb waiting for umpteen cars to go by. I looked to my left and saw rows of cages with dogs waiting to be adopted. There was the standard crowd of parents and kids hovering around to pet and poke the pups in the cages. I wanted nothing to do with it, since I always found adoption days to be quite depressing.  As I was turning my attention back to the mission at hand (getting home), a white dog caught my eyes. She was just staring at me from about 25 feet away, wagging her tail and ignoring the kids that were trying to get her attention. An older gentleman who was standing next to her called out something to the effect of, “Wow! She sure locked onto you!”  I just smiled and wanted to walk on, but the gentleman was all smiles and the dog was looking at me. For some weird reason I felt obliged to walk over and give a quick “what a nice puppy” salutation. That was the end of life as I knew it.

When I walked over, Phoebe just went spastic. I gave her a little scratch on the head through the wires of the crate, and I swear if she could have squeezed through the holes in the wiring to get a hug, she probably would have. Some kids barged in and wanted some puppy attention, but she wanted nothing to do with them. Their parents came walking over and since I had no plans on adopting a dog, I stepped away to let the family greet her. She just plopped herself down and didn’t move. I looked back and she was just watching me walk away.

As I walked away I was thinking. “Dang dog! What did you do?!?”  By the time I reached my car I was on the phone calling my friend, who happens to have five dogs, asking if there was such a thing as love at first site with a pup. I felt kind of nuts.

When I got home the first thing I did was start bragging about “my dog. I am not sure what prompted me to declare her “my dog,” but I did. I rambled on to my family, while they interjected – Nah! No way! Really!

I was wearing a bright pink shirt when I first went to the pet store, so I rationalized that the pup simply liked the color of  my shirt. Then I got the bright idea to go back and test the love-at-first-sight theory. The only way to properly assess the theory was to change my shirt (I never said it was rational).

When I got back to the pet store the cage the puppy had been in was empty. To my surprise I was a little disappointed. I asked one of the ladies that worked there if the dog had been adopted. She had not; she was just out stretching her legs. The rescue worker found the pup, walked her over and handed me the leash – oh oh. Now what?

She was quite the charmer. In fact she was so good that she managed to turn me from aphoebe-meetgrumpy lady in the morning to a tickled pink kid in the afternoon. I whipped out my phone and asked a stranger to take our picture. I am not a people person so asking a stranger to take a picture was certainly an anomaly! In fact, the way things had been going around that time, smiling was another anomaly.  Looking back at the picture, all I see is a happy me and scared little pup.

Everyone wandered off in different directions and I was left standing their holding the leash of a dog I was not going to adopt. I felt kind of bad. While looking for someone to take her off my hands, I overheard a family making plans to take one of the pups home for trial run. A trial run? Really? That piqued my interest.

I asked one of the workers about the trial run stuff. She explained that they prefer that people take the dogs home for a few hours to get them away from the raucous and see how well the dog and the family fit together. I jumped all over that! Five minutes later I had a dog sitting quietly sitting in the back seat of my car headed home for a trial run.