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Once Upon a Time in San Francisco

It was the summer of 2009, I was living in a house with many other roommates. One of my roommates had a dog named Booker- it was a rescue dog. Booker was a pit bull / boxer mix- a magnificent and beautiful dog.

The first thing my roomies warning me about, was Booker's aggressive behavior, as he had bitten people in the past and also had an intimidating bark. He would bark at anyone that entered the house for at least 3 minutes straight before calming down. I had experienced his hostile behavior myself.

We were supposed to ignore and stay away from him. He was treated like a lunatic creature that was looking to hurt us. However, we both needed a place to live and we needed to get along. The first time I was face to face with Booker, it was a dark Friday night. I was at the door when I heard his first bark. For some reason I felt his fear, I stopped thinking like a human and put myself in his place. Asking myself how would I feel if I was left alone inside a lonely house labeled with a bad reputation and under scrutiny from the household.

My instinct told me it was gonna be ok- that I should embrace his fear and sadness, his solitude and grief, after all, he was abandoned and semi-neglected of love.

I had accepted the fact that he had bitten other people, but then again, I felt the need to give him compassion and affection. So I open the door and I walk towards him with the confidence of a benevolent leader and sat on the couch next to him. Without hesitation I pet his head. He licked his lips twice and then started to wag his tail. It was a beautiful and outstanding feeling- as if a huge wall of prejudice and hostility had fallen right in front of me. He accepted me as part of his pack.

From that day on, we would walk around Height street, go to the beach, play hide and seek and spend holidays together. We became family.

Six months later I had to move to a different house. it was a sad moment realizing Booker and I had to walk separate ways.

After year passed, I stopped by Booker's house to pick up some random mail. I did not expect Booker to remember me. However, when I opened the door, Booker came to me, barked once, and then started to cry- wagging his tail and begging for attention. He acted as if I never left (and even peed on the floor out of sheer excitement). I'm not gonna lie, in that moment I shed a little tear and had a warm feeling in my heart.

To this day I feel blessed to have those memories of Booker.

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