It is no secret that pets are a big draw on Craigslist.
This is a site where people who love animals want to advertise their passion.
The problem is, that passion can often be very vague and vague.
There are no rules.
And the people who advertise can be pretty terrible.
One of the pet-advertisers that I have worked with recently was a man named Peter O. Toole.
He advertised on Craigslist for a dog named Charlie.
I knew little about Charlie, so I contacted him.
The next day, I got an email from him, which he forwarded to me.
“Hello,” it read, “I’m a licensed veterinarian and am working on my puppy Charlie.”
He explained that he and his wife, Barbara, had bought Charlie from a pet store in North Carolina.
“She is very playful,” he wrote.
“I thought that maybe you could get her for me.
You’ll get a great deal on her.
Can I have a photo of her?”
After a few emails, I called him.
He said that he’d take Charlie, but would only sell her to me for $5,000, which was about the price of a dog.
I paid $1,500.
When I told him about my plan to sell him my Charlie, he looked shocked and disappointed.
“It’s not worth it,” he said.
“Charlie is going to be a burden on my life.
She’s a dog, not a pet.
She can’t be around the dog.”
The next day he sent me another email, this one claiming that he had purchased the dog from another person and had “rejected her” and that I needed to make sure I got the dog for my husband.
“Are you sure I want her?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“How long do you think it will be before you can take her home?”
He offered to pay for Charlie’s transportation and insurance, but he was also willing to pay $10,000 for the dog.
He had not made his choice yet.
The only reason I was interested in Charlie was because she was a miniature.
I thought I could help him out by getting her for a very low price.
And I knew he was an extremely good salesman.
But the more I looked at Charlie, the more concerned I became.
Charlie was the first thing I saw when I arrived at his home.
“Hey, Charlie, what’s up?”
She looked at me and smiled, and I realized that she was not a puppy, but a tiny pet that had just been rescued from a shelter.
It was a very sweet gesture, but it was also very dangerous.
Charlie, I discovered, was not just a cute little pet, but she was an actual human being.
In order to be sure that I got my money’s worth, I had to make a decision about the best way to treat her.
“Why don’t you give me a little bit of money for Charlie?”
I wanted to show her that I was serious.
I wanted her to know that she did not have to worry about getting a great price for her.
But I had no idea what the best price would be, and Charlie had not been taken into my care.
When she cried and wept, she was very different from other dogs.
But she was still a puppy.
So I asked her what her biggest problem was.
“Well, I get frustrated when she cries because I can’t get the puppy to go away,” she said.
But it didn’t sound like she had a problem.
“My biggest problem is that she’s so happy and playful,” she continued.
“That makes me feel bad.”
So what is it that I should do?
I asked Charlie.
She didn’t answer.
I asked another question: “What do you do when you get upset?”
She looked me dead in the eye and she said, “That’s okay, I’m not going to say it.
She was right.
The very next day I got a call from Peter.
“So what do you tell her?
I’ll take her,” he told me.
Charlie and I were reunited and we were both on the same page about our intentions.
But Charlie was not the only pet on Craigslist who needed a home.
I began to worry that she might not be welcome in my home.
So on December 11, I contacted Peter again and offered to take Charlie into my home if he would take me up on my offer.
I had never met Peter before, but I knew him from previous jobs at the shelter.
Peter asked if I could bring Charlie into his home as well.
I said yes, and we arranged for Charlie to be taken in by my husband and me.
After two weeks, I returned to Peter to ask for his blessing to take my little dog back into his house.
Peter agreed to take me in and I drove