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Happy Tail: The big 3-0 deserves a big surprise


Alex had wanted a dog for longer than she and Brad had been dating. “It was an item on her bucket list,” Brad says. But the time never seemed right. They lived very busy lives, first in Chicago, then in Madison, Wisconsin. Their move to Omaha didn’t help because they lived a long way from their offices and didn’t think it was fair to a dog to leave him alone for so long.

Alex, Brad and Gunther make a happy trio.

Alex, Brad and Gunther make a happy trio.

But then they moved nearer their work, adopting a dog hit Brad’s radar in a big way because Alex was turning 30, an event that deserves a great gift, and he knew a dog would be perfect.

He began to search on Petfinder. The dog needed to be small. It needed to be as hypoallergenic as a dog can be. “A must for me,” he says, “because I’m allergic to almost everything on the planet.” He also wanted one that was house trained.

He saw Gunther, who was listed on Petfinder by Hands, Hearts and Paws. The dog’s previous owner had developed health problems and had to give up the Maltese mix. To Brad, the dog looked perfect, and he set the adoption in motion. He still hadn’t mentioned it to Alex, but when the rescue set a date for a meet-and-greet, he sent her a text.

“Don’t worry about dinner,” it said. “It’s taken care of. Also, be ready to go on a field trip as soon as you get home.”

Alex figured they were simply going out to dinner, but when she walked in the door, Brad handed her an envelope, and then turned on the video camera.

She tore the envelope open, talking to herself, wondering what was going on. She pulled out a paper with Gunther’s photo and adoption information. “No-o-o,” she said in disbelief. “We’re getting a dog.” Is this our dog?” Meanwhile, Brad was making a video of her reaction.

“We’re going to meet him right now,” he said from behind the camera. “Then she started crying so hard that I felt bad, so I had to stop [recording]!

The tears were tears of joy. They went to meet Gunther, and he came right to them and sat in their laps. “We bonded with him immediately,” Brad says.

Alex adds, “I love dogs and know a good home makes a difference for them, so I’m so happy we can give Gunther an awesome life. He’s one of the best things to happen to me. It’s really the culmination of my 30 years.” Life with Brad and Gunther adds up to a perfect present for Alex.

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