I have a similar story about my 1st dog. I used to be very scared of dogs when I was a child, because an evil corgi puppy called Ziggy once bit me. And yet, there was one dog (beautiful three-coloured middle-sized mixed wonder) I was never afraid of. I kept telling my mum that I wanted him (no-one understood why, since I was afraid of dogs), but she kept telling me that he already had an owner.
Then many years later, the old lady who had this lovely creature died, and the poor dog went to live with her relatives on a farm. They hated him, because he wasn't a farm dog (and he probably hated the farm as well). So I had a great idea. We called them to tell them that we would love to have the dog, which made everybody very happy, especially me and the dog. Plus he already knew the house & the neighbourhood, so it was the best thing that could have happened.
So that's how I got my first dog. And that's also how I ceased to be afraid of those wonderful canine creatures.
"Once, I was a real turtle"