Adopted Dog Fosters Trust and Healing

Loss and an empty nest left Kim feeling lonely. Then she met Lily.

Kim + Lily

Together, Lily and her mom learned that being independent doesn’t have to mean being alone.

"I came to realize the joy of being the most important person in the world to 60 pounds of furry, unconditional love. No matter how tough my day was, seeing that crooked grin waiting at the door lifted me up."

Adopted Dog Lily

A few years ago, I lost both my parents and my husband. Shortly after, my daughter went off to college in another state. Everything changed in what felt like a minute. I had many good friends to keep me busy but truth be told, I felt a bit lost. It felt weird going home to my empty house. I decided to rescue a dog.

Enter my sweet Lily. She came to me from a situation of extreme abuse that left her timid, and was terribly depressed after being separated from her litter of puppies. In the early days, I would come home from work to find her cowering on the bed. She would look at me with big sad eyes, seemingly surprised that I had come back to her. I had to coax her to take even the shortest walk. Play with toys? She didn’t know how. Belly rubs? Way too scary to let me touch her.

It was a slow process but over time, she began to change and so did I. We learned to trust each other and we began to heal together.

Adopted Dog Lily

I came to realize the joy of being the most important person in the world to 60 pounds of furry, unconditional love. No matter how tough my day was, seeing that crooked grin waiting at the door lifted me up. She wouldn’t allow me to be lazy. That weak little girl who previously didn’t want to walk even a block started insisting on daily trips to the park, no matter the weather. To her credit, she would good-naturedly don boots and a coat in winter. Some of that was about keeping her warm but it also was about me not being able to resist buying her stuff because she looked so darn cute. I mean, who doesn’t need a Supergirl costume for Halloween and a stylish fleece jacket for crisp fall walks?

She learned to share my love for Skinny Pop while watching TV in bed. She never cries at sappy movies, which I find aggravating. She sleeps through storms but somehow awakens when the smallest bunny crosses the back yard. She hasn’t quite figured out the whole skunk thing, so we share way too much bath time.

Adopted Dog Lily

I make my bed every morning before I leave but when I come home at night, it is unmade and the culprit is lounging comfortably with her head on my pillow. No remorse whatsoever. Sometimes I find dog toys lined up on my yoga mat. What is that about?

Lily and I depend on each other. We share the ups and downs of daily life. Together we have learned that being independent doesn’t have to mean being alone. We saved each other. But even though she owns my heart, sometimes I am still the boss. Or she lets me think I am…

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 Kim won Almost Home Foundation in Elk Grove Village, Illinois a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.