Margaret Dubkoff and her sister and roommate, Linda, were driving by the Sonoma County Animal Shelter and feeling blue.
Both aged in their early 60s, they'd days before lost their sister, Marie. The thought occurred to drop into the shelter and perhaps restore a bit of joy to their lives by adopting a dog.
They agreed on a skittish but adorable cream-colored, one-eared Chihuahua. They named her Angel.
They'd had her two days and she was warming to them when they took her last Saturday to Devotion Animal Hospital for a check-up.
A vet technician took Angel into a back room to take her weight and temperature. A second tech then appeared and announced emotionally, "There's a problem."
But not a medical problem. She said Angel was her dog and that she'd run off more than three weeks ago.
It was clear she told the truth. Angel couldn't get close enough to her.
It was bittersweet, but Margaret and Linda said good-bye to Angel and without a second thought relinquished her.
Since then, a notion came to them. Margaret said, maybe it wasn't just coincidence that they pulled into the shelter while mourning Marie.
"I concluded that my sister helped the dog find its home," she said.