Karma by Lisa Joyner
In general, Americans love their dogs. Make that, they are in love with their dogs. To say we pamper them would be a study in subtlety. Granted, there are something like 650 million dogs in the country, but come on! There are doggie spas, pet day care centers, animal baubles, trinkets and chew toys, plus clothes and tiny parkas. We look for the best organic treats, holistic acupuncture, canine therapy, and the most social dog parks.

It is the human who creates the puppy pedestal. Giving to them fulfills us. All our animals really want is food, exercise and a good scratch. (From time to time a spot at the end of the bed goes over well too)

Having said that, I am guilty of the deepest in canine adoration. I admit it, I am not proud nor embarrassed, however my Karma and Holden are very special. (Bet you've never heard that before)

The oldest, named because of her meditative gift and overall sweet disposition, was sent to me for a reason. Karma rescued me. True, I physically went to the pound and perused the maddening amount of animals that were forgotten, lost and abused but she took me in. And she was just days away from death.

Cage after cage, my new baby stared me down, transfixed as other dogs barked, slept, scratched, ate, and pooped. Her deep-set, naturally-lined eyes never wavered. It's not as if she, as a year old pup hadn't experienced the Cider House Rules moment before, but this time I'd like to imagine it was different. She beckoned, called upon, even summoned me to adoption. I did, and a family was born.

A week to the day after we moved in together, Karma ran away and forever changed our relationship. You see, just as people (child and parent, brother and sister, friend and lover) take time to form a real alliance, so do dog and owner. I felt grave responsibility for the animal I deprived of vigor (had fixed), yet I wasn't completely invested. I did wonder though, what would I do with all the super-cushioned down bedding, the organic chicken strip treats, the farting dog chew toy, the prearranged dog walking play dates?

More than that, what would I do without this beautiful being that made me forget how awful traffic was, how tight my favorite jeans were now, the scalded roof of my mouth, or the instability of my retirement fund?

After I searched the neighborhood frantically and made several calls, I found my furry saint. A lovely woman took Karma in after her Criss Angel backyard maneuver over the fence and called animal rescue. Fortunately, the identification chip I had inserted in the nape of her neck made it as easy as a scan at the grocery store checkout to get her back. When I got to her, she was frightened and anxious and ironically in the same North Hollywood shelter, the same cage, I had taken her from just the week before. She was on dog death row. She knew it, would never forget it, and has never left again. From that moment I became invested.

Watch InFANity: Dog Whisperer on TV Guide Network