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It’s Kind of a Funny Story…How I Met My Pet

5 members of the Man Repeller team tell their adoption tales


In partnership with Zappos


This story was nearly a disaster. What we originally wanted to do was interview a ton of adopted pets about how they met their owners. Wouldn’t that have been so cute? That’s the story you never get to hear when you are cornered in the grocery store by your neighbor who is showing you, for the thousandth time, photos of the sweaters she knits for her rabbits. You never hear about whether or not the dog likes its walker or how the cat really feels about that bird. Okay, so fine. When this partnership with Zappos came up to celebrate the #Pawlidayz and their new Zappos Rewards program, we had everything laid out perfectly in our minds as to how this would go:

I’d sit with the adopted pet of an MR team member over something cozy, like cocoa. I’d ask them all sorts of fun questions, just like I do with our It’s Kind of a Funny Story series, and listen to them go on about their favorite human. Maybe I’d scratch them behind their ears if appropriate. Maybe we’d chase a squirrel. We’d laugh, cry, hug, bond.

But then complications came up, as they sometimes do. Turns out animals can’t consume cocoa. Also turns out that they are very shy around reporters and don’t want to talk, like, at all. Just a few woofs and meows here or there. Soundbites, but not very useful ones.

The good news — beyond the fact that Zappos will offer free pet adoptions beginning Black Friday through Cyber Monday working with Best Friends Animal Society; that more than 115 shelters, rescues and humane organizations across the United States will participate in the initiative; and that it is Zappos’ goal to see 9,000 dogs and cats adopted between Friday, November 25th and Monday, November 28th  — the good news is that the owners agreed to talk. Obviously they did. The only thing humans like talking about more than their children are their pets.

Of course, to some of these humans, these are their kids.


Join Zappos Rewards and get access to free expedited shipping, points for rewards, early access to sales and more. Existing customers joining Zappos Rewards by 11/30 will also get a $15 Rewards Code.

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  • Quinn Halman

    I had a weird identity crisis that began in grade 8 and desperately needed to feel needed. One of the few things I’ve ever been consistent about was begging my parents for a dog. However, because both work full time, a puppy wasn’t going to be an option. Meanwhile, I didn’t want a dog that was already, like, 7. Until we stumbled upon these Mennonite breeders that would keep dogs until they were 10 months and ALREADY TRAINED. The one downside was that he was already named and named Happy, which, quite frankly, is a really stupid name. But it’s so suiting. He is my brothersonboyfriend and the family member I miss the most at university. I harass him with my love, essentially. He’s a good sport about it, too; when I shoved him in a corset he still napped on my bed without me calling him there.
    People are so weird regarding how they speak about their pets and I am so included.

    • Jasmin Aujla

      Look at that face!

  • Mariana

    My adopted-rescued-non-pedigree lady dog Farrusca, you guyssss! This is her at my sister’s wedding day, picture taken by the professional photographer because she is THAT important in our family. 13 years old and counting <3.
    Animals are amazing, they lighting up a home and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to always have one through my childhood, because they can teach us so much.

    • Jasmin Aujla

      Oh my goodness!!!!!! this is so cute

  • Whitney Colon

    They hate and love each other like siblings. Lola and Dexter are my favorite beings in this entire world. Lola the dog, is mine. I got her as a puppy from an accidental birth. Dexter the cat is my boyfriends. He was adopted by my boyfriend and his roommates. They bring more love to our lives then we could ever imagine. They’ve made my move to NYC less stressful. And they don’t mind our small NYC apartment.

    • Harling Ross

      I love your pets’ names!!!

  • MK
    this is levon. my parents and i inherited him from my brother when he passed away this past july. Levon is a handful but he’s also the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet; he’s comforted us so much these past few months. his hobbies include: chasing squirrels, going for walks, digging holes (both in the yard and in the living room carpet), napping on heated blankets, and watching HGTV. he was named ‘most loved dog in the world’ by me and my mom.

    • SQUEALING. too cute. can’t….handle…

    • MT

      Levon’s spirit (his appearance slightly less so, but some) reminds me of my late great peanut, Zoe. Oh I miss her so.

    • snakehissken

      I’m so sorry about your brother… I’m glad you’ve had Levon as a source of comfort. He’s adorable.

  • Grace B

    Oh man, don’t get me started. Loved all of these pets! Two years ago my fiance and I adopted a 12-year-old-rat terrier, Pearl. She’s my shadow/stalker/love bug. Taking care of an old dog is really hard, she’s 15 now and definitely less mobile. But she still loves to go for hikes with us (maybe once or twice a month now), swim when she can, and she loves camping!! She just loves fire lol. And my other dog, is Stumpy, a 3 legged mutt. Technically she’s owned by my friend who is a vet with two other dogs & she travels 3-4 months out of the year if not more. So Stumpy comes and stays with us. And she is the happiest, best trained dog I know. I take her to the dog park almost daily and we go for long hikes. Before I had adopted my own dog, I used to take Stumpy and her sister Whitney (RIP) for hikes after having met their owner online (seriously!) at a rocky time in my life, so it’s been a really fruitful friendship! Former dog walker here, if the pay hadn’t been so abysmal I could have done it forever…oh and I have a cat. She’s whatever.

    • Mariana

      “She’s whatever” ahahaha
      Adopting a senior dog is a really nice gesture, they are the ones that really need a home. You have to follow this page is from Brandon’s girlfriend (HONY).

      • Grace B

        Aww that is so cute! Yea I definitely knew I wanted a senior dog & we were really happy to find our little girl. She’s so chill! And her breed apparently can live to be 20! Fingers crossed.

  • Patty Carnevale

    I had a foster dog for 6 days NO ONE TOLD ME HOW HARD IT WOULD BE TO LET GO okay everyone told me.

  • Adrianna


  • MT

    I have three cat-children, and I adopted none of them: They each adopted me. Well, Bean less so than the others.

    (This is a novel. I am not remotely sorry.)

    Shortly after Mr.T and I got married I was walking out the front door of our rented farmhouse to go to work in the morning and I heard meowing in the street. We had a dog (the late great peanut Zoe), and we didn’t live somewhere that stray cats frequented, so this was unusual. I went up to the street to see a beautiful grey tabby sitting in the middle of the fucking road, as though that were a perfectly normal place to be sitting, meowing his head off. I grew up with a cat (RIP Tonga) and forever love them, so I did the standard crouch-with-hand-out-making-psssting-noise and he walked right over to me, out of the road and into my fucking heart. I swore I was just taking him to the vet to get checked out, but by the time I dropped him off I had named him Moe and he is my soulmate. Mr.T knows this. He is okay with it.

    A couple of years later Mr.T and I bought a house a few miles from the aforementioned farmhouse, and a couple years after that one of our neighbors developed a stray-cat-feeding habit. The strays were EVERYWHERE, and my late great peanut Zoe would get Very Stressed Out about these interlopers in her yard, under her porch, under the pool deck. It became commonplace to have to haul her out of tight spaces because some catmom had left her catbabies there for “Safe” keeping. (I feel compelled to mention here that the late great peanut was a Beagle, and thus genetically predispositioned to do a OMG MOM THERE’S SOMETHING INTERESTING HERE MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM THERE’S A THING COME LOOK AT THE THING but never ever ever would ever hurt anything except for that grasshopper that one time. The cats were safe, except maybe their eardrums.)

    One day Zoe was out there throwing a OMG MOM THERE’S SOMETHING HERE fit and Mr.T and I went out side to see her barking at a little orange tabby that we later determined was about 8-10 weeks old and totally trying to throw down with a 20 pound dog, the nitwit. We hauled Zoe inside and found a box for the kitten, gathering him up and then letting Zoe back out… only for her to have another OMG MOM moment 30 seconds later. As it turned out, the little orange tabby had brothers he’d left to fend for themselves. Long story short, I found homes for the tabby and the grey one, and Bean– who is beautifully black and floofy– became my second catson, much to Mr.T’s dismay.

    Three summers ago, my sister and her family (inclusive of FOUR children) were visiting, and making a damn ruckus in the pool. The stray cat problem had largely been dealt with in the interim, so seeing a rando cat in my yard while there were people using it had stopped happening, until a beeeeeeeeeautiful boy sauntered up. Like literally there are 8 people in and around my pool, plus a dog (who in her later years was a lot more chill about interlopers, admittedly), and we’re making a hell of a lot of noise, and this strange cat just waltzed into our yard, totally unconcerned with what was going on, like “Hey so I live here now, cool?” Which, if you asked Mr.T, was NOT cool, no thank you to cat #3. I agreed, and after verifying he did not belong to anyone nearby, I called around and found him a foster home. A foster home from which I picked him back up and took him home about a week later. His name is Oskar.

    And I remain married! Since the passing of the late great peanut, who was a total daddy’s girl, Bean has seen an opening and has become Mr.T’s constant companion. He’s also kind of a turd, as one of his favorite hobbies is trying to destroy his little brother (and occasionally his big brother), but he loves his pa so much it’s hard to ever be mad about it. Bean’s newfound love of his father has endeared Mr.T to cats in a way I never really thought would happen. He loves me, and I love cats, so he tolerates and even likes them okay, but his relationship with Bean has really evolved into something specific and special in the last six months and it’s been totally awesomesauce to watch.

    tl;dr all of my cats came from the streets and they’re super fucking cool.

    • Imaiya Ravichandran

      loved the story!! and I’m not even a cat person. bean sounds adorable af.

      • MT

        He’s such a turd. He’s all of the obnoxious cat traits you hear about, while the other two are perfectly lovely housemates. He’s the cat that will look you right in the eye while knocking a glass of water off the counter Just. Because. He can. The other two wouldn’t DREAM of doing such a thing. Oskar might do it by accident, if he sort of forgot about gravity, because Oskar sometimes forgets about things like gravity and the fact that his tail is actually a part of him and does not need to be destroyed. Not Bean. Bean knows about gravity. Bean knows about his tail. He just gives no fucks.

  • Hannah Cole

    Almost crying right now because I JUST WANT A PUPPY SO BAD


    This is Lady, my chihuahua/daschund/min pin? (all her docs say different things). My boyfriend started talking about getting a pet, and I told him it would have to be a dog. I grew up with dogs but after my parents divorced, I stayed with my mom and she started living with a monster who hates dogs. I missed them way too much.
    Luckily my boyfriend was on board and we found Lady through Petfinder. She was from a shelter but staying in a foster home only 5 minutes from us. When the foster parents came over for a house visit, I also knew she was ‘the one’. She was so so so so sweet (even though she was really shy). I told my boyfriend we had to have her. The foster parents liked us, but they told us we need to secure the fence around our house before we could officially adopt her. We got on that right away and the rest is history.
    We’ve had her for almost 3 years now and it’s been so amazing. She’s the sweetest thing, she’s just happy to be in our company (though she loves walks and chasing birds and squirrels). It’s also made me very proud to see how much she’s changed. She used to be very timid and afraid of other people and dogs, but now she’s a lot friendlier.
    And yeah, I stay at home more but honestly it’s worth it because Lady cuddles are the best.

  • Ana Tavares

    This is Puré (which literally means purée/mash), my almost two-year-old Podengo-cross. I got him six months after my previous dog died. I had been working from home for a few years, which can be really isolating, and when my other dog died, I got depressed and felt like I had no reason to get out of bed. Puré changed that. People often ask me his breed, which is slightly annoying because I feel all dogs are great regardless of their “brand”. So, when I come across people who only seem to appreciate dogs as a fashion commodity, I make up fake breed names, such as Miniature Shepherd Podengo or Bucelas Podengo (Bucelas is the name of the Portuguese town where he was born). This post is so lovely and you guys gave some great advice! People often forget that animals are living creatures with actual needs, and taking care of them is a responsibility but also incredibly rewarding.

  • I’ve shared photos of Ludwig on MR before but I can’t help but add the the dogpile (!!!) Every time I visit my family my heart explodes cuz I get to hang out with THE COOLEST pup ever. We’re bff’s. He’s really awesome and super chill.

  • Hannah Wiggins

    I’m so grateful for my cat, Essie. I adopted her the day after my college graduation. She saved me during a horrible breakup that summer. We’re inseparable. BF4L.

  • K

    The stories made my heart melt. Beautiful.