Happy tail: Oliver’s story has a twist


Alison Owen, San Marcos, TX, had been trying to adopt a Poodle mix, but each time she would inquire about one she saw on Petfinder, someone else would beat her to the dog of her choice. Then late one night, her friend texted her a screen shot of a dog’s Petfinder profile. The dog was at Conroe Animal Shelter in Conroe, TX. The moment Alison saw the message the next morning, she knew he was the one.

Oliver Owen

Read the story in Alison’s words.

She called the shelter only to learn that it didn’t put holds on pets in its care: first come first served. Even worse news was that many people had inquired about the dog.

That news wasn’t enough to discourage her, though she knew it would be a race to get there first.

Accompanied by her sister, she headed to Conroe, which was 200 miles away. When they arrived at the shelter, another family had arrived just before them. They, too, were hoping to adopt the Labrador Retriever/Poodle mix. The shelter worker told all of them they were too late. The dog had been adopted just hours before.

He was, however, still there because the adopter had plans for the evening and didn’t want to leave him alone on his first night in his new home.

The other family left, but Alison lingered, and “the worker offered to let me see him since I had driven so far,” she says. They walked into the kennel area, and there was Oliver. She petted his nose through the cage, tears in her eyes, and whispered that she wished she could take him home.

The staff member said that she had a gut feeling that Oliver might be returned because he was a rambunctious two-year-old and his adopter was an 80-year-old woman. The worker took Alison’s contact information, and then she and her sister made the long drive home.

Four days later, she got a call from the shelter, and sure enough, Oliver was back. As predicted, the adoption had not worked out. Alison was elated and made another trip to Conroe.

She feels lucky that such an amazing dog came into her life and can’t help but think about the hand fate played in the story. If the 80-year-old woman had not adopted him, the family who had arrived in the lobby just before Alison would have adopted Oliver. Some things just seem meant to be.