Last July, kind of on the spur of the moment, I decided to adopt a dog. I had a million things to do that weekend, but found myself scouring adoption sites and making several visits to local San Francisco shelters. I had never owned a dog as an adult but longed for companionship. I also wanted to take advantage of my employer’s generous policy in allowing dogs at work.
I knew I had to adopt a small dog based on my condo building requirements. But other than that, I really didn’t know what to look for. When I conferred with the SPCA volunteers, they suggested I look for a dog that is confident. So off I went, meeting various dogs and gauging their warmth and confidence as best as possible. At first, I totally overlooked Billy because he was so small. But since two different volunteers advocated for him when I came for a second visit Saturday afternoon, I went ahead and took their advice getting to know him.
Well, as soon as I met this 8-pound Terrier-Chihuahua mix, I loved him. While other dogs either didn’t want to meet me when I went into the room or didn’t seem to know I was there, Billy jumped right into my lap! Billy came to the San Francisco SPCA via SF Animal Care and Control. Shy and scared, he seemed to have a difficult time warming up to new people. As it turns out, he was holding out for his perfect match.
Because it was too late to start the adoption process that day, I was told to come back for Billy on Sunday. Excited, I woke up early, cleaned up my place and headed back to the SPCA only to find that Billy was not there. He had already been selected for an off-site adoption event at the Divisadero Farmer’s Market. In true movie-romance fashion, I chased down the “love of my life” and adopted him that morning.
Billy now enjoys the good life, relaxing in the comfort of my lap at work during the day and keeping me company at home. We are almost always together. In fact, I leave him alone so infrequently that I started to feel bad when I did leave. To alleviate my guilt, I thought about getting Billy a cat.
And then this happened…
A couple of weeks ago, as Billy and I headed to yoga via McAllister Park, we passed a few construction workers. “Chuey,” one man called out trying to get Billy’s attention. I didn’t stop since people are always stopping Billy, him being so cute and all. “Where did you get your dog?” the man asked me. At this point I stopped walking because he was speaking to me, not Billy, and I realized that Billy knew this man.
Short story long — this random man, Memo, is the boyfriend of Billy’s previous owner. To prove it, he showed me a little video of Billy on his flip phone! Billy ran away one day from his Treasure Island home without his collar on. He’s actually 2 years older than I thought and used to live with a cat. I felt really bad for Memo and his girlfriend and told him so several times. Memo was totally reasonable, but clearly felt bad about having lost Billy.
As a consolation, I told him that Billy has a great life — that I’m always with him, that he goes to work with me, and that he is loved. He asked me how much I would take for him. Of course, he’s not for sale.
A few days later, I thought about my encounter with Memo and revisited my idea of adopting a cat. Learning that Billy used to live with a cat was a great gift in that it validated my original hunch.
So now Billy and I live with a cat. Maven (formerly Princess Peaches) came home with us from the SPCA a couple of weeks ago. She quickly got used to her new home and started warming up to Billy right away. After just one night of co-habitation, they were both sleeping in my bed. They are very good sleep and nap partners. I look forward to lots of good times with them both.
You are loved,
Maven, Billy and Laura