Adopted Dog Brings Comfort and Hope After Loss

Talisker helped Cristy find the strength to heal

Cristy + Talisker

After experiencing a miscarriage, adopted dog Talisker helped Cristy find the courage to heal.

"Simply put, Talisker has been my angel. He got me off the couch, past the tears, and on my feet — both literally and figuratively."

Talisker came into our world as an act of fortune and fate. My husband and I had been trying for a family and had recently suffered a significant setback in the form of a miscarriage. Rarely spoken about in public and often only in hushed tones in women’s circles, this event felt like horrific failure — a lonely, secretive, heartsick failure of the body and soul. It also crushed my spirit more than I thought possible, and my health and hopes along with it. We had been living overseas following this event and were now returning with empty arms, and a deep hole of sadness I simply couldn’t climb out of.

Adopted dog Talisker

It was winter — and it felt like I was experiencing a “winter of the body, mind and soul” as I tried to get back on track, take care of myself, and move past blame and despair. As I was nearing significant depression, a moment of providence occurred. I was sitting on the couch, when the cushions parted and revealed our former dog’s chew toy. He hadn’t lived with us in over three years. That toy had lasted through years of us overseas while our furniture was in storage, apparently waiting to be revealed. I knew in that moment that we were absolutely missing someone in my arms — and for now, it was the comfort and love of fur-ever family.

Adopted dog Talisker

I logged online to the local shelter and the first pup who popped up was a rescued dog from Puerto Rico named Talisker. His soulful, human eyes said everything to me: that he needed me as much as I very much needed him.

Simply put, Talisker has been my angel. He got me off the couch, past the tears, and on my feet — both literally and figuratively. He encouraged me to take daily walks and see beyond my current state. He snuggled by me nightly, allowing my empty arms to express all the love I had been storing up. To say that he became the baby I wasn’t able to have at that time would be putting it mildly — and for anyone who has a pet, they can understand why that statement can be true.

Adopted dog Talisker

Now seven years later, our life looks wonderfully different. Our two young sons are his biggest fans. Talisker’s “brothers” love him as dearly as I do. He has helped them each learn how to walk, has licked their tears when they tumble, snuggled for movies on rainy days, and eaten far too many treats fed by his conspiring brothers beneath the dinner table.

Adopted dog Talisker

Talisker brought me through so much turmoil and sadness to celebrate our success together in having the family we had tried for. He’s been our healer, our first born and our parental training wheels. Most importantly, he started the growth of our family into what it is today. Without him, I simply don’t know where we would be and all four of us are fur-ever grateful for him.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Cristy won Cape Ann Animal Aid Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.