A volunteer writes: It hit me like lightning. The moment I saw 2 year-old Flash--slight and still, hugging her kennel wall--I loved her. As I jiggled my leash in front of her door, I watched her eyes go bright. Yes, a walk sounded nice. But was it OK, was *I* OK, and what was beyond those doors? After some time and some turkey treats (the essential two Ts) she decided at least I was alright, and our time together began. As it happens, what was beyond those doors was sun, grass, and wind. I watched her see it all, blink hard as if just waking, and decide to forge ahead. She walks beautifully on leash, trotting next to me then just ahead. And after a block and a half--no, maybe it was two--that tail finally untucks. As we round corner three, Flash sits for a treat and, despite her protruding ribs and spine, she takes it gently. With the shelter in sight, we seize the moment for photos, and Flash indulges me without concern. She accepts pets and treats, sniffs her toys and the air, and watches calmly as people pass by. When we''re through, I join her, sit in front of her on the curb, and I offer her one last treat. She takes it softly, of course, but when my empty palm lingers there for one moment more, she suddenly rests her paw in my hand. She leaves it there. I don''t move mine. And I see her decide again. `Oh no...,` a young passerby whispers as she stops short right at the sight of us. `Oh no...` Not because she''d seen something terrible or sad. But because her heart was just stolen. And in a flash, so was mine. Flash is waiting in adoptions at Manhattan''s ACC for a gentle, quiet and calm home; for a soft embrace; for someone to love; for someone to belong to.