Like I've said before, dog parks are dangerous for dog owners. I didn't understand this situation completely until I took my dog, Deter, on a tour of metro dog parks this spring for a column. Now, I have two dogs. Skye, as she has been renamed, was sort of an accidental addition to the family, like some family members are. I took Deter to the Yukon Pets and People Park, 701 Inla Ave., where the shelter dogs are allowed to play while their cages are being cleaned. Deter immediately took to a little black puppy, and for the first time, I saw him really play. We left the park, but I couldn't stop thinking about that little black puppy. I couldn't imagine adopting and caring for a second dog, but she was such a good fit with Deter. So I talked my boyfriend into adopting her. We went to pick her up, and I asked for Acorn -- the dog I thought I wanted. Turns out, I misidentified the little black dog in my column. I thought the pup was Acorn, a little black male. The dog was actually a female named Hinton, the town closest to where she was found. When Hinton found out I had confused her for a boy, she was offended and filed a defamation lawsuit. She dropped the suit as soon as we adopted her and gave her a better name. Skye turns 1 this month, which happens to be Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. About 26,000 unwanted and stray animals went through the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter in 2004. Thousands of animals had to be destroyed. Shelter officials are working toward a "no kill" policy, but there isn't enough money or adopters yet. We can't always adopt homeless animals, but pet owners can do something else to help: spay or neuter your pets. Fewer animals will move through the shelters, so fewer animals will have to be killed. Skye and another puppy were found in a cardboard box on the side of a farm road in winter. I can't stop people like that from deserting or abusing animals. But I did save one dog through adoption. She's nothing like my first dog. My boyfriend reminds me she's a "jail bird" because of her time at the shelter. She wasn't house broken. She has destroyed three pairs of shoes and left teeth marks in several others. She digs holes in the back yard. She steals the other dog's food. She doesn't understand the purpose of heeling, and the leash is more of a noose. She's wonderful. She's taught my anti-social dog how to play and how to trust people. She cuddles and nuzzles. She fetches, sort of. She's made my house a home. Someone didn't want her. Someone left her to die. Whoever that heartless person is, he missed out on the best dog in the world, even if she's a jail bird.
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