We heard him before we saw him. As my family approached the SAGA clinic, we heard his loud crying. It was like a new baby screaming for attention. When we entered the clinic, we were surprised to find that the noise was coming from a very young puppy. The tiny two pound dog was not happy to be in a pet carrier. He had his teeth clenched onto the door of the carrier and was wailing. He had been found the day before and was not in good condition.

Feeling sorry for the puppy and the clinic staff who had to endure the noise, we offered to take him home and foster him until he was bigger and healthy enough for adoption. Given his capacity to make a lot of noise, we named him Rowdy.

Rowdy quickly became the perfect puppy. From his appearance, we guessed that he was either a Rottweiler or Mini Pinscher mix. Whatever his genetic make-up, he was smart and very lovable. He got along well with other dogs and loved our six indoor cats.

When Rowdy was three months old, our family took a trip to San Diego to visit family. We had lived in San Diego for more than thirty years and knew that there were some great animal rescue facilities there that had high adoption rates. We decided to take Rowdy with us in the hope that one of the facilities would agree to put him up for adoption. As it turned out, we never even got to introduce Rowdy to the rescue centers.

Upon arrival in San Diego, we took Rowdy to a PetCo store near our hotel. We wanted to have him groomed so that he would look beautiful for his evaluation appointments at the adoption centers. Laura, the young woman who took charge of him at the grooming center, fell in love with him immediately. She took Rowdy to meet her fiancé, Evan, and before the week was over, we were convinced that they would make great dog parents.

Rowdy is flourishing in his loving new home. He is their baby. Laura and Evan have stayed in touch and provided this Christmas photo of themselves and Rowdy taken at Balboa Park, San Diego.

How wonderful it would be if all the dogs at SAGA had such a happy ending!