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My family adopted our first rescue pet when I was 9 years old. That first dog, Bridget, lived until she was 19 years old; she spent 17 wonderful years with us. Not long after she died, my parents adopted a new dog, Dasha. It was then I knew I wanted a pet of my own. Several months later I moved into an apartment that allowed pets and I started looking for a dog.I visited countless shelters, read several listings online, and asked all over the city. In October of 2010, a friend directed me to a posting on Petfinder of a terrier mix, also named Bridget, at a shelter in upstate New York that needed a home. I contacted the shelter immediately and asked to meet her. Unfortunately, they said, she was probably going to be adopted that weekend. But they wanted me to come up anyway and meet the other dogs that needed homes. So my mom and I packed Dasha in the car (Dasha would need to get along with this dog) and we drove up. I met three dogs that day and was certain that a little brown one would come home with me. But once out in the run, Dasha became fast friends with a little black spaniel/dachshund mix named Molly. That's was it. Molly came home with me.

It's been 5 amazing years and despite serious health crises (she has an auto-immune disease), she is a happy, spunky little dog. She is my shadow, my best friend, and my fierce protector. I honestly can't imagine life without her. She loves the beach, running wild in the woods, and visiting my parents' house in New Jersey. There is no better feeling than coming home after a long day at work to her excited little face.

Johanna Dickson
New York, NY

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