He stole my heart. Walked into our little living room on Rogers Avenue in Fort Worth and took control of the place. I was willing to offer him a permanent home within five minutes of his arrival. But first, I had to be approved. And there were some issues at the Casstevens house. Would the wrought iron fence behind the house provide a secure backyard? Would the sturdy and oh-so-energetic current resident schnauzer welcome him into our life? Did I have any misdeeds lurking in my past that would disqualify me from adopting this endearing rescue dog?

Aside from once impulsively discarding a college accounting textbook I truly hated, I had done nothing purposefully harmful in recent years. But, I did have to submit three references and Hudson moved in with us on the Tuesday of spring break. We enjoyed long walks in the neighborhood and quiet evenings watching TV.

Life adjusted down from the frantic bark-a-minute pace of a Schnauzer to a calmer Havanese shuffle. The dogs get along, or at least growl no more at each other than my husband and I do. Hudson just seems extremely grateful for a place to call home.

I hope we can live up to the lifestyle Hudson deserves after being rescued out of a Grand Prairie shelter, where he arrived with matted fur, ear infections and skin sores due to severe neglect that amazingly, did nothing to diminish his sweet and loving nature.

I have never rescued a dog before, but Hudson has not left my side in 72 hours, so I may need to set up a doggie desk for him at the library.

There are many stories of wonderful family pets that come from rescue shelters and generous folks who serve as foster families so these animals can be placed in forever homes.

Giving Hudson a place in our family is certainly no sacrifice; we are the lucky ones.