Let me start out by saying that I’m a cat person. Now, I have absolutely nothing against dogs at all, but I’ve tended to prefer cats for a pet: quieter, cleaner, more independent. There have been plenty of dogs that I’ve liked and a few that I’ve loved; I even owned a beagle when I was in high school. However, when the subject of getting a pet would come up in my family, I would always say that I intended to get a couple of cats; last year I picked some carrier crates, dishes, litter boxes, and a big-ass tree thing for cats to play on/in, figuring I’d get a couple of felines before 2009 was out. So imagine my surprise when I came home with a dog on Valentine’s Day. My son had spent the morning doing some volunteer work at the Boulder Humane Society, and while he was there, I had gone to the Humane Society’s webpage to check out what cats were available; I found two I liked, and so when I went to pick up my son, I decided to check out the cats for myself. For various reasons, neither cat happened to be there, so on a whim, I decided to wander through the dog section, just to see what kinds of dogs were there. I saw a few different ones, but then one just jumped out at me… almost literally. He had a big ol’ doggy smile and was super friendly… I was hooked. But I played it cool and decided that I had to think about it first, so my son and I went down the road to Ozo Coffee to get a cup of coffee and some lunch. My son knew something was up, but didn’t know what– I hadn’t told him what I was thinking about until we were part way through our lunch. After that, my son couldn’t “help” me drink my coffee fast enough for fear that someone would come and get “his” dog before we could get back there. I reminded him that I hadn’t decided yet; that I was just thinking about it. So it was back to the shelter, and then a bit of a wait before we got to meet Franky and find out more about him. Turns out he’s the coolest dog in Colorado (sorry Redford!): great with kids, super chill when we’re feeling mellow, and goofy and hyper when we’re feeling a bit more energetic. So, long story short, we walked out of the shelter with a furry, four-legged addition to our family. Any doubts I had about whether or not I’d made the right decision were immediately erased when I looked in the back seat and saw my son cuddled up to our new dog, the pooch happily licking his face. This isn’t the first time I’ve owned a pet from a shelter. In fact, I’ve always chosen to get my pets from a shelter, and was very proud to hear President Obama say that the puppy he is getting for his daughters will come from a shelter as well. There isn’t likely a greater contribution that someone can make to another creature of our planet than to adopt from an animal shelter. With so many dogs and cats waiting for a home, why adopt from anywhere else?