How I Became a Dog Person

Roo, age 4 months — Photo by Ana Dooley

I didn't want to get the dog. We already had so much on our plate and adding one more thing — a wild card, an element of chaos, another responsibility — was not remotely appealing to me at the time.

But my daughter insisted, and she was the one who was dying.

I made the decision to get her the dog when we still had a small measure of hope about her survival. We knew her prognosis was bad, but…