As I was getting ready to leave for the dog pound and some canine intervention to mend my broken heart, my friend Mary called. We had known each other since the 80s, when she answered my ad at San Diego State University looking for a roommate during my sophomore year. In our college days, whenever my stomach hurt, Mary would make me poached eggs on toast. But the current situation required more than food. I needed love. And I needed it now.
“You’re crazy—you can’t get a dog on the rebound. That’s worse than jumping into another relationship. That wouldn’t be fair to you or the dog,” she lectured. She had a point there, I thought.
The city pound was half an hour away. I spent the car ride feeling excited and anxious at the same time. I had wanted to get a dog since moving out on my own, but my parents thought it was a bad idea. They questioned whether I had the means or the time to take care of a dog.
“I’m just looking. I don’t expect to find a dog like that,” I tried to tell Mary. But deep down, I believed otherwise.
When we got to the West Valley Shelter in the San Fernando Valley, I wasn’t ready for the reality of the grave situation I was about to witness. It had been years since I visited a city pound and I didn't remember them being so over crowded. I had to choke back tears as I looked down the rows and rows of dogs waiting to join families. Good dogs, nice dogs, frightened dogs, all abandoned. I imagined they felt the same way I did, rejected. Some other dog was chosen. They were lost, or worse, thrown out.