Today I’d like to share the story about how my husband and I adopted our dog, Tiger!

Two months into being newlyweds, we were living in the small town of Horseheads, NY for my third year clinical rotations. My husband was finishing up his Master’s degree in Bioinformatics online from JHU and we got to talking about how it would be easier to study at home if we had a furry little companion to break up the monotony.

We were avidly searching Petfinder but we had still been a bit cautious about actually going to a shelter. I was still wary about the last time our family adopted a dog. We previously adopted a cute little miniature pinscher and none of us had any idea of how to care for dogs or how to help him through his separation anxiety and we ended up returning him to his foster parents after 7 days 😦 We were told he eventually got adopted by someone who seemed perfect for him but the experience was still sucky. I did not want to repeat that because it’s really not fair for the dog to go through such turmoil.

During one of our Petfinder searches, we came across a cute little corgi housed at the Horseheads Animal Shelter. She fit the weight requirements for our apartment and her personality seemed like it would match ours well. When we got to the shelter , the owner walked us through bunch of kennels to take us to see the corgi. It was there that I saw Tiger (a black cocker spaniel) huddled on the ground avoiding eye contact while his brother in the adjacent kennel was energetically barking at us. I literally thought Tiger had the sweetest face and  I had already lost interest in seeing this corgi because I was in love.

Technically, Tiger and his brother had just been surrendered from a home that had 5 dogs. They were both neglected and underfed with a whole lot of fleas and matted fur. Apparently, Tiger and his brother fought a lot and that’s why they were surrendered to begin with. They hadn’t been placed on the website yet and both still had to be neutered and cared for more before they could be adopted.

We continued walking out to see the corgi and funny enough, the corgi was terrified of my husband and we knew that we probably weren’t the right pet parents for her. I used this opportunity to advocate for Tiger and we went back to get a closer look at him.

He was so subdued and scared and his ribcage was prominently visible through his fur. He was only five years old and I knew he was the perfect fit for our little family. It didn’t take much to convince my husband either. So, we filled out the paperwork and made plans to come pick him up in a few days after he had gotten some much needed care.

The day we brought him to our apartment he walked into every room to inspect it and then  plopped himself down to sit next to us in the study. He has been such an important part of our family and my husband and I have matured more because of having him. He has transformed from having aggressive defensive behaviors to being a squeaky little puppy when he meets other dogs and humans and we are so glad we made the decision to adopt.

His official name on his little doggy birth certificate was ‘Tigerseye’ but we decided to do away with that and just call him Tiger.

Tiger’s brother was also adopted shortly thereafter by my friend and he’s really happy too 🙂

Thanks for reading!


(P.S. This picture was taken a few days ago at Tiger’s favorite park right next to the NIH)

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