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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 …

Terri Kandis calls Foxy the neighborhood ambassador. On their walks, the 5-year-old Yorkshire Terrier mix is an equal-opportunity greeter. “She loves to meet any two or four-legged friend,” Terri says. “Her whole body wags, and she wants to give kisses. I have not found one person who doesn’t want to love on her and wants one like her.” It wasn’t …

The sorrow over losing two dogs within a few months of each other was so overwhelming that Julie Stafslien couldn’t imagine finding a place in her heart for another dog. Ever since she was a child, though, there had always been a canine family member, so it didn’t seem right not to have one. Half a year passed before she …

It’s the dogs’ dinnertime at Amy and Shaun Jones’s in Seattle. Seven-year-old Fudgems, whom the couple has had since she was a puppy, wants her food now, so she barks at 10-year-old Samson, encouraging him to bark, while she warbles encouragement. He’s a vocal dog, and barks when he’s excited, which is often. “He’s excited that we’re home, excited that …

Twix was kind of a mystery. The Pates thought she was a terrier, but her legs just kept getting longer and longer, and people started asking if she was an Italian Greyhound. “We didn’t know a lot about the breed,” Melissa Pate says, “but as we researched we saw that it was 100% her personality and she really started resembling …

Julianna Murphy adopted Dakota, a Belgian Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix, from Guelph Humane Society in Ontario. The dog had been picked up as a stray. He was thin, and his coat was matted. But sometimes someone just knows this is the one. “Dakota won my heart,” Julianna says, “and I could feel sparkles dancing inside, making music to my heartbeat. I …

In May 2014, Vanesa was in her last month of graduate school, poised to take a state board exam and about to move from San Francisco to Oakland. It hardly seemed an auspicious time to adopt a dog. “I like to say that my bioDOGical clock must have been ticking,” Vanesa says, because suddenly “I simply had to have a …

Kathleen Casserly and her boyfriend, Jason, already had a 7-month-old puppy, Kirby, but they wanted to adopt another puppy. Though they live in Minnesota, they figured they could travel a bit to adopt just the right pet, so they logged onto Petfinder and entered their criteria: female, baby, Australian Cattle Dog, within 500 miles. Up popped Harley, a Cattle Dog/Pointer …

Jodi and Al Schneider’s two German Shepherds, Gunny and Bruno, passed away within a year of each other, and the couple were heartbroken. It took awhile before they were ready to consider opening themselves to the joy. Jodi came around first. She had one stipulation: she wanted to adopt from a shelter. “There are too many dogs in shelters who …

When there is cuddling to be done in the Albrechts’ home, it’s a safe bet that Astrid the cat will be right in the middle of the huddle. If 8-year-old Chloe is watching television, Astrid always curls up with her. “She moves as close as she can get to Chloe,” says Mom Jess. “It’s really cute.” Of course, if there’s …