Bringing Home Ralphie: How We Found Our Dog


As we pulled into the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha (HAWS) last Sunday, I hid my nervousness from Michelle.

As if I could be nonchalant about bringing a 108-pound, former stray behemoth into our home after only a brief meeting the day before.

We told ourselves repeatedly that almost everyone we knew had dogs. We remembered the dogs we had growing up—hers, Chloe, was a sweet chocolate lab that lived until 16, mine was a little peekapoo, Harley (AKA Harvey), who managed to never exhibit the worst traits of tiny dogs—yipping and tripping.

But part of me was also inexplicably morose—fearing that our complex, dog-hating cat wouldn’t be able to adjust, and would change or disappear from the stress. Sad in advance, at the idea of loving this dog, knowing that—like the dogs we cherished before him—he’ll one day be gone, an uncomfortable reminder of the fragility of all life.

But the memories of Saturday’s meeting propelled us through the doors of HAWS, to the adoption table, to agree to care for him and assume responsibility for his life. Read More