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Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 4:41 pm

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made. - M. Facklam

So last week I was cranky about people doing stupid things. I won't say I got over it, but I've moved on.

And nothing helps you forget the outside world like adopting a puppy from the animal shelter. (Nice segue huh?) Which is what we did on Saturday. I've mentioned our Old English Sheepdog Mali and shown a photo. And Mali is an awesome dog. We've never been 'purebred' dog people before but we fell in love with the breed when we inherited a Sheepdog in 1995.

And when we found Mali in June of 2009, we fell in love. She's everything a good Sheepdog should be: Loving, loyal, fun and even-tempered. And even though she's pushing the big Oh-Two, she's still a puppy. And we were feeling a little bad about the fact that we don't want to play All. Day. Long.

So - since we have always been shelter-dog people, we kept our eyes open for an appropriate pet for Mali. We wanted a female, not too old, not too aggressive, and not too tiny. We're not tiny dog people.

And finally, in this newspaper's Tail Wagger section last week we saw a young female mutt with lopsided ears and no place to call home. We took Mali down to meet her and they seemed to get along. Not a lot you can tell about a relationship on a first date with humans watching you, but we watched closely and there didn't seem to be any aggression or jealousy.

After we brought her home, Mali wanted to play immediately, but Millie (yep, Millie - not my first choice, but - you choose your battles) was intent on checking out her surroundings and following my husband around everywhere he went. He's obviously the alpha and the one who gives out the food, so she likes to know his whereabouts most of the time.

By day two, the play began. It was a lovely sight to behold. Big fluffy Sheepdog having puppy fun with scrappy little Mutt. They box, wrestle, pull each other's ears and tails, roll everywhere and never once have I heard a yelp or a growl. Mali has had us all to herself for many months. A lesser dog would probably be possessive or jealous. Instead, Mali has shared her toys, her Milk Bones, her blankie, and her people with a previously homeless critter. That's how big her heart is.

If you've got room in your heart and your house, check out Animal Friends Connection. They're a no-kill facility so they usually have a full house. If you can't adopt a pet, I'm sure they'd appreciate a donation. They're fighting the good fight, so any help would be appreciated.

Learn more about them http://www.animalfriendsconnect.org/index.html">here.

(It looks like they could use some help updating their Web site also. Anybody?)

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