By Brandy K.
September is adoption month here at Stream Valley, which is very special for my family. On a crisp September day 16 years ago, we took home our dog Miles. My sister was looking to adopt a dog that would be great for apartment living and, being an animal lover myself, I jumped at the chance to help her look. That day, while looking on the Prince William County Animal Shelter website, we saw a one year old Pomeranian named Wilson who was a new arrival. He looked nervous from his pictures, but he had the cutest face so we decided visit the shelter.
The shelter staff took him out to a yard so we could get to know him, and it was clear to us that he was already house trained! We were told that he was owned by a young woman who lived with a couple of guys, and when she moved out she had left him there. The roommates waited for a couple months for her pick him up but she never did, so they turned him into the shelter. When the shelter received him, he was littered with fleas and needed to gain weight. Wilson was a nervous boy, but my sister and I saw the kind soul that he was and adopted him that day, Sept 23rd 2005. We then decided to change his name to Miles, and affectionately call him Miles of Smiles because he has a habit of smiling at you when he wants to be in your lap (or wants what you are eating!).
When we brought him home, he went from being super timid to being the playful, happy pup he still is to this day. He always loved to play with his fox toy and "swim" on the carpet after a bath, as well as sitting in people's laps.
My sister and I were roommates back then so he belonged to both of us, but when I got my own place we decided I would be the one to have him. She had become a volunteer firefighter at the local station, which would have made it challenging for her to give him the best care he deserved. Ever since then, he's been there for me for the happiest and saddest times of my life, through breakups, my engagement, my wedding, through moves with roommates in apartments and buying our own house with my husband. He got to know many of my friends over the years, loved to dress up for Halloween, and celebrated various holidays as part of the family. He helped me get through the loss of my son as well as my subsequent long illness. I could not have asked for a more loyal and faithful pet over these 16 years. Dogs really are man's best friend, and he definitely lives up to that for me.
Even though I rescued Miles from the shelter all those years ago, he also rescued me and stood by me loyally for most of my adult life. Having shared a home with a shelter dog for the past 16 years, I can say with my whole heart: Please consider adopting from a shelter or rescue to give these wonderful dogs a second chance at having a warm, loving family and a forever home!