Growing up, my family always had dogs. We had an old Wire Fox Terrier who was older than me, abeautiful Husky who passed away young, a Husky-Shephard mix puppy and a line of loveable retiredGreyhounds. From birth to college graduation, I hadn’t been without a dog.I then moved to Washington, DC, for 4 years — working long hours for little pay in a small apartment wasnot conducive to having a dog so for the first time in my life, I didn’t have a tail wagging when I camehome.When I made the decision to head back to grad school, I chose Colorado State University in Fort Collins,Colorado. I chose it for adventure, for the mountains and because I knew I couldn’t be without a dog.I’d never been to Fort Collins and I knew nobody. As soon as I received my acceptance letter, I startedmaking moving plans and that meant finding the best shelters in town where I could find my dog. Anygood dog owner will tell you that you can’t pick a dog through the internet — really, you can’t pick a dogat all, they pick you. Despite my plans to adopt a rescue Husky to brave the winters with me, I foundMarley’s picture on the Animal House & Rescue website. He’s a beautiful black and white Pit-mix, helooks like he’s wearing a tuxedo. He’d been rescued from a family who kept him chained outside but hadbeen living with a great foster dad for almost 8 months. They said he was equal parts adventurous andlazy, loved long, cuddy naps on a comfy couch and was scared of children. I knew that we were perfectfor each other. I moved to Fort Collins on November 4, 2016. I met and adopted Marley on November 6:my reward and motivation to unpack everything I owned in a day and a half.We’ve been together for almost a year and he has completely changed my life. He was my first friend ina town where I knew no one, he forces me to go outside or take a breather on the couch when I think I’m”too busy” with grad school. We went camping in May and despite waking up to an 18″ snowfall, hebraved snow like a champion, thinking we were just having another one of our adventures.Bringing Marley home is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. He’s still scared of kids andgets extremely protective sometimes, but I’ve learned to really protect him while also pushing him to bethe best dog he can be — making friends on the trails and occasionally allowing kids to walk through thebackyard without barking. Without Animal House & Rescue, Marley may not have had the chance to waitfor me to get to Colorado and we wouldn’t have had the chance to rescue each other.