You don’t even want a dog. You come from a long line of cat people and want to stay that way. Then shy, shabby clover crawls out of the forest. You shoo it off, but it circles around you. For months you have denied that he was dumped and are looking for the house he left. For weeks, encourage others to take it. In the meantime, you’ve given him a bath and a name, ordered a box of chicken, and seen him sit on the mat outside your door every night. After numerous walks, his joy becomes your joy. His presence by your side in the garden, his insistence that you stop and give him an abdominal massage, his wild loyalty become the stuff of your life and there is no way you can go back. (How did you live without a dog before?) When you finally admit that it is yours, your German housewife insists There is no way he can get in. But he pushes himself into it and exudes such coziness and security that the extra sweeping of dirt and fur seems a worthy price to pay for. Then your sister has to take her dog and you think We will try it. Clover could use a friend and Stella could be happy with us. Stella is a completely different animal, calm and brave and stubborn, and while you shouldn’t say it out loud, now you get how confused parents are when their second child is so different from their first. It occurs to you that your interspecies family has perfected their balance and your life is more fun than it was before. Your walks will feel like a second childhood, running through the woods with a pack of dogs and being part of it in ways you can’t with humans. Your furry friends demand to go outside early to run by the lake. You will be taken into the world of the soaring herons and the rising mist and the vultures basking on the railing of the fishing dock, and it’s all up to dogs! Any rules you had (no getting up on the furniture, no scratching on the couch, no sleeping on the new carpets, no jumping on the bed) are slowly (or quickly) broken, and after a while the smell of dog means Homeland . And that’s how you transform yourself into a dog person with ease.