I was visiting the SF SPCA to help my mom find a dog companion. We went into one of the rooms to see a litter of puppies: four black males and one white female with black ears. I knelt down to meet them, and the girl climbed up onto my lap—like she'd done it a hundred times before—to watch her brothers tussle on the floor below. She then chewed a hole in the hem of my shirt. It wasn't a good time in my life for a dog, but I couldn't leave without her, and we have been inseparable ever since. Zoe (formerly Etouffee) has changed my life.