Alfie, the black lab/shepherd mix, was found in the Kingston ASPCA and is not only gorgeous, but the most charismatic, noble, extraverted, well-mannered and strong dog I have ever known. He was picked up as a stray puppy in Louisiana and I can imagine him now, having decided to break for freedom as early as possible, quickly making his escape and never looking back. He was driven north with a car full of other dogs to the Catskills by animal rescuers. He’s the best model a photographer ever had and is extraordinarily protective, but is slightly bossy and master of a very effective side-eye. When we left him in the shelter to wait for our references to be checked, I could hear him barking at us from the front door. Showing hardly any signs of shelter anxiety common in other rescued dogs, he bounced back like the trouper he is and has doubled in size in the two years we have had him. We rescued a 38lb puppy and now we have a 80lb bruiser. He’s now a card-carrying country dog.