Yes, he was our dog. And he wasn't our dog because we found him at the pet store, or a breeder or an animal shelter. He was our dog because he chose us to be his people.
We were working odd jobs for friends in Colorado during the summer of 1995. They owned a bed and breakfast and we were deciding whether it was a business we wanted to go into ourselves so we cooked and cleaned and did minor maintenance and generally got to know the basics.
One day, as I was taking laundry out the front door (while some late rising guests were having breakfast in the dining room) I was greeted by a skinny black and white stray. I managed to get a hand free from the laundry so I scritched him under the chin and he gave me a loving look that soon would become familiar. I trundled the laundry around to the back of the house to the washing machines and the skinny stray followed me around back and looked in the door as I left him behind. I got busy with the usual day to day chores and forgot about him.
Later that day, I took a spare muffin out to my husband who was working on a truck we'd just bought at a farm auction and noticed the stray curled up under the tree next to the truck. I probably made some comment on how cute he was.
He ended up staying with us that night because he obviously didn't want to go anywhere else. To be honest, I don't think I wanted him to leave either.