Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 12.08.55 AMI had been looking at Allen’s profile for about a week before we finally met. From his pictures, I could tell that he was cute, but his “about me” section left much to be discovered.

When we finally met on a Sunday afternoon in Pacific Heights, something felt off. He excitedly entered the small room, but when I said hi, he ran right past me, as though I were invisible.

“He’s a little shy at first. And gets easily distracted,” the volunteer told me, as Allen sniffed around the room, until he found the perfect place to raise his leg. “And he doesn’t usually pee inside,” she added trying to make a case for him.

I gave Allen one more chance, bringing one of my roommates and her boyfriend with me to the Pac Heights SPCA, on a double date of sorts. The second date was even more disastrous than the first. Allen attempted to bite my roommate’s boyfriend and was uninterested in playing with any of us.

“He’s just not the one for me,” I told my mom on the phone after our second encounter.

“Don’t worry,” my mom reassured me, “There are lots of dogs out there. You just have to be patient.”

So with a renewed determination and The Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love on an endless loop in my head, I continued to dog-date. I went to dog adoption meet-ups and visited shelters all over Northern California.

At most of the shelters, there was some sort of maternal figure, a kind volunteer or well-trained employee who would try to convince me that a certain dog was the perfect one for me. Like a Jewish mother, she would build up her son {with New York accent}: “He’s  adorable. Great with kids. Independent. Easygoing.” And each time, there was something wrong. After Allen, there was Orion (too spastic) and Barktholomew (just not that into me).

I searched seriously for about two weeks, at which point I began to deflate, thinking I would be dog-less forever. Was there something wrong with me? How could it be this hard to find my missing half in San Francisco, the city of dogs?

The following Sunday, I went to visit my mom in the burbs and invited her to check out another shelter with me. She had never been to a shelter and I, now the expert, served as her docent. It was like showing Tinder to a friend who has been off the market for some time, although a bit sadder (believe it or not).

I hadn’t looked through the profiles of the dogs at that particular shelter and therefore didn’t know what to expect. We walked past the little rooms, filled mostly with Chihuahuas and Pitbulls, similar to the other shelters I’d visited. In the last room, I noticed a frizzy, little black and white dog and pointed her out to my mom. “She’s so cute!” I said. “But her bio says that she’s part Chihuahua.” I walked on.

In the shelter’s lobby, the token maternal volunteer asked if there was anyone I’d seen that I’d like to meet. “Oh I don’t know,” I said.

“Let me introduce you to my favorite dog here,” she said, and proceeded to bring out the little black and white nugget who I had noticed earlier. “This is Mishka,” she said. And the she added in a whisper, “But I call her Stella.”

And as Taylor Swift preaches, “It’s a love story, baby just say yes.” Yes, indeed.

Milly, née Mishka/ Stella, is now my faithful companion and bed mate (we moved fast, aka I gave up on crate training). And to think, I didn’t even meet her online!

Morals of the story:

  1. You can’t hurry love.
  2. It just has to wait.
  3. Don’t judge a mutt by its potential Chihuahua blood. <<That one wasn’t The Supremes. All me.
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