10 years ago, when Dr. Dad and I bought our first house, it had a fenced in backyard, and we decided to do the whole Suburban Neighborhood thing right and get a dog.
I wanted a Sheltie, because I thought they were pretty. I didn't do any research, because I am impulsive like that. When I found out how much a puppy cost I was shocked. We decided to put the issue on the back-burner.
Not long after there was an ad in the paper. A woman was selling her year-old Sheltie because she didn't have time to care for her. We drove over and that was it. We had a dog.
She never ran away, she stayed with us and guarded our yard (sometimes a little too well). She was very true to her breed, trying to "herd" us if we did things she didn't like, barking like crazy at anything (or anyone) she wasn't familiar with, running after cars, airplanes, geese or people that crossed in front of or over our property.
We found out she had cancer late last summer. We knew she had a limited time, but it's never easy to actually say goodbye.