Five years ago, my now-husband and I went to the Fulton County Pound in Atlanta hoping to fall in love. When the fourth dog we took out, a scrawny spaniel mix crammed in a cage with a litter of pit bull puppies, brought us a stick and then demanded a belly rub, he had our hearts. The pound employees called him Killer; we called him Rowdy, after the taxidermy dog in the TV show Scrubs.

Rowdy has brought infinite laughter and love to our lives. I truly believe he has a soul and intelligence comparable to humans. He's our friend, protector, entertainer, and unconditional companion.