With so many ads and commercials being circulated about how nice it would be to give a dog a new home, or become a cat's best friend, instead of leaving them in a shelter where after so many days of non-adoption, they will be euthanized, you would think that hearts of people everywhere would break enough for them to do something about it. Wrong. While the half-breeds and mixes are wasting away in those shelters, with no one to love them properly, people are still creating "designer" dogs or lusting after highly expensive pure-breeds with papers. Some would rather pay thousands on a persnickety breed that is high maintenance and needs to be groomed every month or those that end up with terminal illnesses germane to their breed. Picking a pet is not about the particular breed or lineage, but about love and connection. I should know because, I too, was one of those people who thought that getting a pet was all about the breed and it's looks. Shallow, I know. You'd think I was picking the perfect partner based on his DNA makeup, which I was, but it was the wrong way to finding this partner. Later on I learned right. Growing up, I had several dogs. I even got my wish and then some, when my aunt and uncle gifted me with not only a Dalmatian, but a rare one out-of-every 500 liver-spotted female that had amber colored eyes and a playful spirit to bring out every joy. We had to give her away, though, after so many years, when I went to college due to her breaking out of the yard and killing all the neighborhood cats. Yikes! Then one year, my mom and I lost someone very close to us and were stuck in a slump. I came home and took some courses at the local junior college just to continue with my education somehow. We never thought of getting another pet, until a custodian at the school my mom taught at brought it to our attention that his grandson was allergic to their puppy and asked if maybe we wanted her. That day we went to see her and I fell in love. She was an awfully mal-nourished Toy Poodle-Chihuahua mix whose white and sandy-tipped hair was sparse and was in desperate need of a good scrub. When she and I locked eyes, I opened my arms and she jumped into my arms. That day I learned that having a pet was about love and connection, much like human relations. Seven years later, so many grooming appointments later and a couple emergency rushes to the vet, that dog has become a member of not only to the immediate family, but to our extended families, as well. Ironically, she is the persnickety "designer" breed that only eats the other half of your T-bone steak and gets groomed every two to four months (depending on the season). Her temper inflames every time someone gets near her master [my mom took over when I went back to school] and is on guard 24/7, which is all due to her Poo-chi mixture. Presently, she is the alpha dog, inside and outside, and the baby, as well, who takes up one whole side of the bed so that she can be close enough to protect my mom. She even helps with disciplining any child around who is acting up. Yet, when she knew my aunt was sick and about to leave us last year, she would visit with her and just lick her hand so that she could sleep peacefully or give her kisses so that she would not think about her illness. The point I intended to make was that sometimes your pet soul mates are the ones that love unconditionally and would do anything for you, no matter the breed or bloodline. Finding your pet soul mate is exactly how finding a human soul mate should be - through unconditional love and connection. So next time you see an ad or a commercial about dogs and cats needing to be adopted, pick up the phone and make an date to find your pet soul mate.