SHOULD I? No...I'll drive on by the shelter, and maybe stop next week! We are old, my husband and I. We don't need a baby. Our house would be a mess. House training again...

It's Tuesday. On Thursday over two dozen dogs will be euthanized. Maybe...maybe I will go over there...

The young man greets me courteously and tells me to look around. The first few pens are crowded. One large, obviously older dog lies quietly and listlessly, as if he knows his time is almost over. His humans have abandoned him.

The worker calls my attention to the last pen. In it are five tiny puppies, each different. The little brown one with floppy earsprecious! In the far corner sits the tiniest one, shivering and frightened. I'm told she is the runt of the litter. The other four run to me, pleading "Adopt me ! Adopt me !" But the one in the corner...tiny, white, two black ears...stays in the corner, shivering and terrified.

I approach her and hold her tightly. She burrows into my hair and cuddles close. As I leave the din of barking dogs and go outside the kennel, she remains buried in my hair, shaking with terror.

After I sign the papers and pay the $15 fee, she is mine! I am given a sackful of puppy treats, helpful hints...even flea treatment!

As I walk into the house, I wonder if my husband will be very unhappy with me. He looks at the tiny, helpless puppy and breaks into a huge smile. I hand her to him, and she leans into his neck for refuge. He melts.

I head for the vet the next morning. Dr. Ellis treats the puppy for worms and fleas and gives her needed inoculations. She is much more comfortable and begins to perk up, investigating every corner of her new home. We have only one crisis.

She finds a hormone pill on the floor and eats half of it! This worried mother calls Dr. Ellis, who takes the time to phone the pharmacist and calls back to tell me the puppy will suffer no harm. Whew!

Today Minnie Mouse is playful, happy, and healthy. She sleeps in her own bed, although she owns the whole house. She enjoys her "job" of visiting the nursing home, where she brings broad smiles and squeals of delight as residents hold the tiny handful. She is a constant source of love and joy.

Why don't you visit the shelter and save a life?

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