I Adopted the Wrong Dog

Meet Fish, my boss

Adeline Dimond
Human Parts
Published in
9 min readJan 7, 2022


This is my boss, Fish. Photo courtesy of the author.

Don’t freak out about the headline. Fish doesn’t know he’s the wrong dog; I’m the only one agonizing about our relationship. As far as Fish is concerned, my house is a pretty nice hotel, although the staff could be better trained.

Fish (not his real name) came into my life — or perhaps I should say I dropped into his — on a cold day in March. I had just put down my beloved, apricot-colored shepherd, Millie (also not her real name). I understand a dog dying is agony for everyone, but Millie’s case was all the more unimaginable because it’s pretty clear the emergency vet killed her. I know I sound unhinged when I say that, but the vet gave me a lot of money back, so it’s pretty clear they knew they killed her, too.

After Millie died, I knew what kind of hollow grief was ahead of me. I’m not new to dead animals. I knew I was susceptible to really bad decisions, and I knew I should wait to get another dog. Even though we were deep in a pandemic, a dog-less life is a perfect time to travel. Why not try out that pink hotel in Hawaii? Or rent a beach house that Millie could never have shared, because she was too slobbery and hairy and somehow, no matter what the season, always muddy.