In early 2009, it was becoming more and more obvious that the household of Autumn Rhodes and Adam Lang was desperately in need of a third inhabitant. A small and, not to put too fine a point on it, fuzzy inhabitant. Autumn grew up in a house with dogs, and had not been without a dog for anywhere near as long as she was suffering without one now. And Adam was neither cute enough nor fuzzy enough to fully compensate, although he did snore almost as loudly as Autumn’s parents’ golden retriever.
Unfortunately, Autumn and Adam lived (and still live) in a no-pets apartment. Over the next several months, Adam tried a lot of things to ameliorate the situation:
- He tried to persuade his landlord to let him get a pet. Dog, cat, hell, even hamster. But the landlord (and, later, his newly-appointed manager) was adamant. No animals. Fish might be permissible, in a small enough tank. Fish not being quite cuddly enough to constitute a good dog-substitute, Adam was not satisfied with this compromise.
- He tried to find someone who would ‘share’ their dog. Which is to say, would let Autumn (and Adam) visit the dog on a regular basis. This, of course, was a lot easier, but it turns out that being able to visit a dog occasionally is not a terribly good substitute for having a dog crawl into bed with you at 3 AM and nuzzle you under your chin when you’re feeling sad.
- He tried, and is still trying, to find an apartment which allows dogs. He has been seriously hampered in his efforts in this direction by the fact that the pair’s current apartment is a really good deal, and thus it’s awfully hard to move into a new, significantly more expensive apartment, while at the same time taking on the not-insignificant expense of dog ownership, without some commensurately large changes in other parts of their lifestyle. Like, for example, not eating.
At the time that all this was going on, Adam started taking pictures of cute dogs he met on his travels around San Francisco, and sending them back to Autumn. This wasn’t much of a substitute for having a real dog, but it still helped a little, because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like looking at pictures of cute dogs?
After quite a few months of this, Adam noticed that he had a whole bunch of pictures of dogs, plus a few of a variety of other animals, and nothing to do with them. And he wondered whether perhaps other people, especially people in San Francisco, would like to see some pictures of the dogs that live side by side with them in the City by the Bay.