We had heard about the animal welfare society from friends - where dogs who couldn't travel with their families were left behind... we were told that they just need some love and care - no matter how long! So, when we learned we were staying one more year, we thought we could offer a dog a nice home for a year and we could use that year to see if the kids were responsible enough to take care of the dog.
John and Peter went to the "pound" the day after we got back from the states - and together, they picked out Ginger (who was named "Joker" - with a name like Joker, we knew we had to change it!). Ginger and her sister were found behind a walled compound abandoned so she was used to scavenging for her food, digging holes to sleep in - and was probably abused.
She was super skitterish and suspicious when we got her, but over time, she's turned into a really nice dog (although still prone to biting the brothers!).
The kids have done a great job taking care of Ginger - alternating days for poop patrol... now we have to get on the training regime!