When I first met Piper at the Front Street Shelter, she ran around the perimeter of the meeting space, casing the fence for an escape route. She was frightened, thin and fully engaged in survival mode from spending who knows how much time as a stray. But something in her eyes and the way she would pause during her laps around the yard to touch her nose to my leg made me believe that she could find a place in my family. It has taken many months (okay maybe a year) but she has emerged from her shell. She loves to run and play with her dog friends, enjoys walking on a leash, and quickly learned tricks and commands. She is still wary of most people (especially men and people in uniform) and big dogs. We thought she was a terrier, maybe some Cairn or Scottie (hence the name Piper), but a DNA test revealed she is 50% Chihuahua, and 25% Maltese and poodle. When adopting a shelter dog, it is almost impossible to know the history of the animal, or even what kind of dog you might be bringing home. But my family is so happy we took a chance on the scared little black dog with the magnificent ears and crazy hair, and brought her home.

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