I had been looking for a dog to celebrate my recovery from six months of cancer treatment and a stem cell transplant and was anxiously awaiting the OK from my doctors that my immune system could handle a new addition to our family. I searched diligently on Petfinder for the perfect dog. My criteria: 30 lbs or less, long hair, perky ears, "movie star quality." friendly, not a young puppy, and soft, silky fur. I found a posting for a dog named Jewel on the Farmington, NM, animal shelter's Petfinder listing and called immediately, as there was something special about her that caught my eye. Unfortunately, the staff there reported that Jewel had just left the shelter that day to be transported to Denver to a rescue organization for BASSET HOUNDS! We live 350 miles away from Denver but had plans to attend a wedding there the following weekend. I took that as a sign that this dog could be our new pet. Sure enough, the lovely lady who was acting as a foster parent for Jewel in Denver had someone come and do the home inspection and approved our adoption application. We met Jewel before the wedding and immediately fell in love with her playful personality and "movie star" looks. So, she was able to come home with us that weekend. Our last name is Ryan, and we ended up changing her name to "Meg" - the "movie star dog"! We adopted her at six months old and have had her now for 1.5 years, and she is a special dog -- happy all the time and wanting to play. I've used clicker training with her to teach the basics plus lots of tricks. She is a great hiking companion and loves to join me on my archaeology field trips. I credit her with helping in my complete recovery.