CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- This week's pet adoption story is near and dear to my heart. That's because it's my own.
I chose this week to share because last Wednesday, my Riley had his fifth "re-birthday" (or adoptiversary or Gotcha Day) from the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association, so I thought it was a good time to celebrate the story of how he chose me.
And let me be clear: He did choose me.
When I went to the shelter on Presidents Day in 2009, I still wasn't 100 percent sure I was ready for another dog. I'd had to put my beloved 12-year-old black Lab, Molly, to sleep unexpectedly the month before. I was looking for a sign that the time was right to adopt again.
I went in with every intention of choosing an older, big, black dog since they have the hardest time being adopted. I ended up with a 6-month-old brown hound mix who'd come in as a stray.
As I walked past the cages of available dogs, I saw plenty of cute ones, but none who really connected with me. After looking in the puppy room (just because; I had no desire to go through behavior and house training again), I decided to take one more pass through the dogs.
That's when I saw him.
He was sitting in the middle of the cage, facing the back wall, with his head over his shoulder, looking at me. I coaxed him over, and he gave me a lick through the fence.
"I'd like to take this guy out," I told the attendant.