Piper the Pup

It was early fall in 2014. Shawn and I had been living in our new apartment for a few months. We were both going to have a day off of work because Rosh Hashana was at the end of the week. So, we booked a Zipcar and headed over to North Shore Animal League.

We arrived around 5pm and entered the building. I was excited and overwhelmed with emotion. There were so many dogs there in need of loving homes. I wanted to help all of them!

We made one lap as observers. We looked at the dogs and read their stories on the cards outside their cages. The first dog that we saw that appeared to be the size and temperament we were looking for turned out to be blind. We were told that this dog would need to be in a home with another dog to be successful. Since we were only interested in adopting one dog, we did not ask to meet him.

We next came to a row of cages stacked one on top of the other. In a top cage all by herself was this tiny ball with big eyeballs. She didn’t really acknowledge us as we walked by and there wasn’t much information on her card. We walked away and took another lap.

We came back to the same top cage and looked at the tiny creature inside. We asked to meet her and an employee cam over to leash her up and bring her out of her cage. This little dog was almost frozen. It didn’t seem like fear – it was more like stoicism. She needed to be rock solid and emotion-free to survive this place.

We brought her into the center area that they have setup for adopters to meet the animals. The dog we were getting to know wasn’t very active. I tried walking her around a little but was told to stay in one quadrant of the room. I sat down and brought her up onto the bench with me. I had my arm around her for what felt like forever. Then it happened. She let her body weight shift into mine. She was starting to trust me! I looked and Shawn and told him that I would like to find out what it would take to bring her home with us.

Several hours and multiple reference checks later, we walked out the door with a new family member! We named her Piper the Pup.