Almost 50 percent of US households have a dog and nearly 40 percent have a cat. Obviously we are, for the most part, pet people.

I cannot imagine life without a dog. We had Trixie as I was growing up and our cousins had her brother, Peanut.

When I was middle-school-aged, family friends found a stray under their woodpile. He was cut from belly to back on one side and was very lucky it wasn’t maggot season. They patched him up and it just so happened I was staying with them while my parents vacationed. Benji, named for his resemblance to the four-legged movie star, stayed under their bed and when I wasn’t sleeping or eating; so did I. It was love at first sight!

When my parents came home I begged and promised and wheedled until Benji came home with us.

Our new addition to the family didn’t come without problems. He had a fondness for cat poop, which would eventually end up on our carpeted living room floor a little while later. That stopped right after Benji and my father had a “come to Jesus” moment in our front yard. I believe they reached an agreement that Benji wouldn’t eat his favorite snack and dad wouldn’t pick him up and yell in his face.

I had my own child when we lost Benji. It broke our hearts.

Our home was dogless for quite a few years before Sadie came into our lives. We quickly found that we could watch her and play with her for hours. What had we done before? We must have just sat around and stared at each other.

When our sweet Sadie had to be put down due to a tumor in her sinuses, I spent the last night with her laying on the floor beside her telling her how much I loved her and how pretty she was and how much I would miss her.

Again, broken-hearted in two! I was inconsolable. My husband lasted for about 24 hours and then asked if I wanted to go get another dog. I immediately wiped my eyes and out the door we went and in the door came Ringo.

He came with is own problems that were solved with a good dog food. I’m pretty sure even though we got him at a pet store, we rescued him; he was pretty sick right after we got him. Scared me to death because he had the same symptoms as our Sadie. A dose of antibiotics and he was well on his way to recovery.

I didn’t think I could love a dog more than I had Sadie. She was my girl. How wrong I was. If possible, I love Ringo more. While she was refined and very ladylike, he is paws to the wall — all boy. Orneriness oozes from his every pore.

I cannot tell you the joy he brings to our home.

If you have room in your home and your heart, go to the shelter and rescue a dog. You just might find you are the one who is rescued.