An Unexpected Addition

Tracy and her boyfriend, Alec, have been living together for almost two years and would like to get a dog. Tracy has never had a dog, but Alec grew up with several in his family.

They discuss the possibility of getting a puppy and research local sources including a pet store and a shelter. In her research, Tracy learns that pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills, where there are often poor living conditions. So they take a trip to their local shelter instead.

At the shelter, Tracy and Alec meet with an adoption counselor who interviews them to determine whether a dog would be a good fit for their lifestyle.

The couple works full-time jobs in their area and are renting a small one-bedroom apartment with wall-to-wall carpeting. Their landlord allows one dog with breed restrictions and a monthly pet fee. Tracy and Alec do not have a preference on breed, but would like a medium-energy dog that they can take on walks.

“We really want a puppy that we can raise from youth.”

“Puppies are a lot of work,” the adoption counselor tells them. She explains the challenges in potty-training, teething, and obedience with a puppy. “I just want to be honest with you, so that you know what to expect, but if you’re open to it, I’d like you to meet Bonnie.”

The adoption counselor guides Tracy and Alec to a cocker spaniel sitting quietly in her kennel.

“This is Bonnie, she’s eight-years-old and was surrendered by an owner who entered a nursing home. She’s house-trained, playful, and very gentle with children.”

Tracy and Alec had not considered getting a senior dog, but after hearing about Bonnie, they agree to meet her.

Bonnie excitedly enters the visitor room and sniffs Tracy’s leg.

“Nice to meet you Bonnie!” Tracy holds out her hand and Bonnie licks it delicately.

Tracy and Alec discuss the possibility of taking Bonnie and how gentle she would be when they decide to have kids.

“But she’s already eight, I don’t want to have to say goodbye to her sooner than if we got a puppy.”

“Cocker spaniels can live until 15 if not older and Bonnie has is in perfect health.”

Tracy squats down and Bonnie jumps into her arms. Their connection is immediate and irrefutable.

“Babe! I love her!”

The couple provide the adoption counselor a copy of their lease and fill out the required paperwork to bring Bonnie home. They are excited to make her a part of the family.


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