(C.A.R.E. name: Valenteena)


My husband and I had just moved to downtown Chicago the summer of 2001 and thought our job hunting season was the perfect time to adopt the dog we'd always wanted.

We adopted Valenteena (which we shortened to Teena) that July.  We were introduced to her at the shelter by a wonderful man who clearly loved his job.  Teena was matted and hairy but had sweet face and a keen interest in the ball we were throwing.  We loved her the minute we met her.  The nice man made us go to lunch and think about it before he let us adopt her... we ate so quick I nearly choked!  We went, back, got our dog, and then realized we had NO dog accessories in the house.  Luckily, the pet store across the street was big and open.

It was a very hot summer and she was a beautiful black chow/retriever mix.  The three of us walked all over Chicago that summer - to the Lake , to the museums, Michigan Ave. ... It took her a few weeks, but she finally seemed happy to be with us.  She didn't even seem to mind the shoebox apartment we lived in - I think it actually helped her adjust!

It's been almost 4 years and we couldn't imagine life without her.  She is a terrific "big sis" to our 18 month old toddler - who plays with her, cuddles with her, throws balls for her and runs so she can chase him.

We always say that Teena was meant to be our dog - it's why she was at the shelter.  I myself was adopted and believe that we're with the families we were meant to be with.  Thank you, CARE, for being a great foster family for our beloved Teena.