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Over the past few months I've been trying to imagine what it will be like when I adopt my dog. A few days ago I started wondering what it would be like for the dog. Here's what I came up with.

I sat alone in my crate, staring at the door. Morning had come again. I could smell the early-morning breeze wafting in through the window. My fellow pack members were still asleep. I couldn’t sleep. Something told me today would be important.
I had been here at this place for months. For some reason my family couldn’t keep me. They said it was because I howled. That puzzled me. I heard them talking to each other all the time. Why wasn’t I allowed to tell them when I was lonely or excited? The people who worked here didn’t understand why, either. They said I was a good, handsome boy. If that was so, then why hadn’t anyone come for me? Where was my real family?
The front door opened. Me and the others got to our feet, sniffing eagerly. A smiling young woman came in, greeting each of us. This was one of Them; the rescue people. They were nice, all right. They fed us and gave us water and shelter and played with us a little, but they always left at night. We had to sleep in our crates with no one to talk to but each other. Sometimes it got pretty lonely.
After breakfast and a bathroom break, we were let out into the yard for exercise. I had fun, but kept my eyes and ears open for one of those funny rolling things people called cars. Maybe one of the cars would hold my new family.
Morning passed, and no one came. Midday passed. Finally, some people arrived! Me and the others put on our best manners; dancing for attention, wagging our tails, panting (the people called it ‘smiling’), and introducing ourselves in our best doggie fashion. This family was an older couple. They petted me for a while and told me how handsome I was, but when they found out I howled, they passed me up and went to my friend Shelly the poodle instead. They ended up leaving with her. I was happy for her, but didn’t understand why they picked her instead of me. We were both good dogs.
Noon drifted into afternoon. Another family came, this one with two little human puppies called ‘kids’. One was loud and giggly and loved petting me. The other was so small that his mother was holding him. I sniffed him, and he giggled. I thought I liked this family. The dad liked me all right, but the mom didn’t like it when I licked the little girl. They adopted my big pal Rusty, who was a Golden retriever.
It was getting late. My kennel was about to ‘close’. The people who worked there patted me and hugged me and said ‘don’t worry. Maybe tomorrow’. I hoped so. I really wanted a family.
Suddenly, another car drove up. This one had a big family; two older people and two younger people. They asked if they had time to see a dog; a Beagle! My lady friend showed them all the dogs there and talked about them. Then they came to me. The young woman crouched next to me and began scratching behind my ears. I liked that. The young man started to pet me. The older man and woman seemed to like me, too. I gave all of them lots of kisses and showed off what I could do; sit, lie down, beg, jump, run fast, and roll over on my back. They all laughed and started asking the lady who worked there some questions. They asked a LOT of questions! Then they walked back inside.
I sighed. Oh, well. Maybe tomorrow, like my human friend had said. Suddenly, the rescue worker called my name and came out with a leash.
I knew what leashes meant; a walk! I loved walks. I started doing what she called my ‘wiggle dance’, wagging my tail and circling in excitement. When we went inside, the family was still there. They were all sitting down and making funny marks on paper. I didn’t know what this meant, but was glad to see them again. They seemed happy to see me, too. The girl seemed very excited about something. She couldn’t seem to take her eyes off me, and I could smell salt in her eyes. Humans cried when something was wrong. I hoped it wasn’t my fault. But then, she didn’t smell sad or scared. She smelled happy. I wished she had a tail to wag so I could tell for sure.
I was starting to get impatient for my walk when my lady friend handed my leash to the girl. Then she (the rescue lady) gave me a hug and said ‘goodbye’. Why was she telling me goodbye?
When the girl who now held my leash started crying and hugging me, I still didn’t understand. I licked the salty taste off her face, and she laughed. Then she and her family started walking out the door. I didn’t know what was going on until they got to their car and opened the door. Then they invited me in! Me! Now I knew. They were adopting me! This was my new family! I wagged my tail harder than ever and hopped up on the seat. The girl, the boy, the man, and the woman all followed me in and shut the doors. I sat down, still wagging my tail. Cool air started coming from nowhere, and the car started to move.
The girl patted her lap, so I lay down on it. She was still crying and laughing. “Good boy. Yeah. You’re a good boy. Hey, guess what? We’re going home, boy. We’re going home.”
I wagged my tail and looked up at her, licking her face. Home…that sounded good.
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