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My childhood dog, Pepper, passed away unexpectedly in the summer of 2015 and I was not home for it. I was working out of state when my mother called to tell me and I was heartbroken that I could not come home and bury him myself. And while I still feel a pang when I think about him, I knew that I needed to keep a dog in my life. The snag was that my mother did not want another dog and I was still living with her while in school.

So for nearly a year I was driven mad from dog deprivation while I finished up a college degree. My mother and I eventually reached a compromise: when I was moved out and in my own place she would pay the adoption fee for a dog as my graduation present. And I knew I didn't want just any dog.

I wanted a "less adoptable". Old, impaired, both, it did not matter to me but I wanted to give a home to a dog that just needed a quiet and safe place to live. Which is where Haji came in.

He was called "Danny" at the rescue and at only two years old he had been hit in the head with a 2x4 so hard by a guy that he was partially blinded. Then "rescued" by a hoarder until the shelter found him. He was scared and nervous but still wanting so much to love someone.

I still spent a month or so looking at various special needs dogs, but I kept coming back to him. The rescue was overjoyed when I offered my home to him.

Haji is learning to trust again and I am re-learning the joys of having a pup again.

Taylor Wallace
Lexington, KY

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