By Jessica Lynne Furtado

Jessica Lynne Furtado is the owner ofAll You Need is Pug, an online shop that offers handmade dog hats, pet fashions, and other gifts for pets and the people who love them. She is also a library assistant, freelance writer, and co-editor of poetry for the literary magazinePaper Nautilus.

Twitter:@allyouneedispug

Facebook:http://facebook.com/allyouneedispug

When I was a child, I wrote “Brandy the Puppy,” a story about a girl who finds and adopts a lost dog. On the cover I pasted a picture of a Pug in a less-than-subtle attempt to show my parents how much I wanted one. At the time, they worked long hours and knew that it would be unfair for a dog to be alone constantly, so I was left daydreaming about rescuing in the future.

Ten years later, I graduated from high school and decided it was finally time for a dog. I set my graduation gift money aside for adoption fees and sent an application to the Pug Rescue of New England. After meeting with two Pugs who did not take to me, I received an e-mail with photos of a puppy named Reggie. He had been surrendered for being “too rambunctious,” and the rescue thought that his spunky personality would be a perfect fit for me. When we met, he gave me kisses and a gentle love bite that showed his playfulness and claimed me as his. It was love at first bite. I immediately told the rescue that Reggie had found his new forever home with me.

Reggie is now named James Dean. He is a purebred dog who was surrendered because his original family was not ready for the responsibility. The rescue process made me realize that it’s important to know when the time is right to bring a dog into your life. One must go into an adoption with the understanding that dogs give love and loyalty, but they require the same respect and attention from you in return. At 8, I was not ready for that task, but at 18 I was prepared, and I could not be more thankful to have JD by my side.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.