I adopted my first dog, Bella, about three months ago. I got her from Pet Rescue, in Larchmont, NY, an organization staffed entirely by volunteers who get dogs from kill shelters in the south and find them homes.

Bella is probably a little over one year old. She’s a black lab mix and is very sweet. She is very shy and scared of most people. She was adopted by a family that couldn’t keep her for some reason before I adopted her. She gets spooked easily, tucks her tail between her legs and crouches very low to the ground and tries to run. It’s very sad.

But she’s made great improvement since I got her, although I’m learning as I go. She loves other dogs and I take her to the dog park and the dog beach, where she loves to swim. She has warmed up to some of my friends who have dogs, and some family members. I hope that she’ll overcome her fears and mellow out with age. But I’m prepared for this to take time.

I am so glad I adopted Bella. She has added so much to my life. I recently got laid off from my job (hence the time for a dog), and when I go back to work, I expect I’ll have to get another dog to keep her company!

Lauren from NY