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After I saw a story on Good Morning America about therapy dogs, I knew that I had to have a dog. I started looking at the local shelters and on Petfinder, but there were mostly large dogs. I needed a smaller dog to fit in my condo. My parents “just happened to be driving past” the Passaic Animal Shelter and my mother saw a beautiful adult medium-sized terrier mix that was very friendly to her. She was dubbed “Terry the Terrier” or “Noel” because she was found wandering the frigid streets in December 2001. My mother urged me to go to the shelter, but the hours were limited and I didn’t see the dog on Petfinder, so I delayed looking.

On the last working day before Christmas 2001, I finally saw the dog on the website. I skipped out of work early and drove to the shelter to see “Terry” for myself. The Passaic Animal Shelter was a very modest facility, with cats, very large dogs, and one medium-size dog. She had long white fur with black ears, a black patch on her back, brown eyes, and a loud bark. I was able to take the dog for a walk outside. I couldn’t believe that small, scrawny dog could practically pull my arm off. As soon as the dog saw my boyfriend, she started dancing around on her hind legs, giving her paw to shake and doing other “cutie dog” moves. He was sold. He finished the paperwork and paid the $15. The dog had to be spayed and was available to come home on Dec. 25, 2001, renamed Lobo. She was the best present I ever got. Lobo always brought smiles to our faces. It was a smooth adjustment having a dog around the house.

Even though she was about 15 years old, her loss was a sudden shock. After more than 12 years together and the addition of a second dog, now Lobo is gone, to be reunited with my mother. Through our walks, I got to meet my neighbors. I found local parks that I never knew existed. I never laughed harder than trying to get Lobo to wear booties in the snow and watching her shaking them off. She spoke without words, offering friendship with an outstretched paw or nudge, sharing our lives. There is no way to summarize the shared companionship. Lobo will always be in our hearts.–Roberta R.


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