When I worked at library I would take the old newspapers to the local SPCA each month. Rarely would i walk through the kennels because we already had 2 small dogs and most of the dogs they had were big.
This one day I decided to walk through and as I passed the rows of big dogs a little white paw reached out of the cage near the end. I knelt down by the cage and the scruffiest looking terrier mixed breed dog I had ever seen wagged his tail enthusiastically despite the e-collar and fresh stitches.
I looked up at the information page and burst into tears. He was named Shaggy by the staff and that was the name of my first ever dog as a child. I ran to the desk and begged them not to adopt out Shaggy until i could go home and get our 2 dogs, my husband and our daughter to meet him (it was 3:00 on a weekday so this was not going to be easy!) A few minutes before the 4:30 final adoption deadline (so staff could go home at 5:00) my entire family burst back into the shelter.
Shaggy came home with us and we found out that he stunk like cigarettes (despite being bathed by the shelter) and had no indoor dog manners. The first night, he jumped on our bed like he owned it, woke up at 3:00 am, jumped down, piddled on the floor and then got back in bed. My husband carried him outside while I got a towel. He took over both of the other dog's beds so we bought him his own; this only meant that he now had 3 beds to take over. He hoarded toys, he tried to eat everyone's food (dog, human, didn't matter), he climbed on tables and stole spools of thread, quilt pieces and coasters.
My husband and our 2 older female dogs wanted him gone and were vocal about their opinions. He would tease Katie and Shasta mercilessly in the yard by running around them and barking wildly. Once he got too close to Katie (a Pekingese) and she grabbed his hip. He took off across the yard with her flying out behind him. I signed him up for obedience lessons and we went faithfully each week. As he calmed down, we realized how smart he was and how quickly he learned. He mourned with the rest of the family when we lost Shasta and then Katie.
He is now the older, wiser dog who is adjusting to his new brother, Tuffy, a Cockapoo who also came from a local shelter. I knew we had done the right thing when I caught my husband giving Shaggy a belly rub and telling him he had turned out to be a great dog.