Adopted Dog is the Fur-Baby of her Mom’s Dreams

Stevie holds Elizabeth’s heart with all four paws.

Elizabeth + Stevie

It took only moments for Elizabeth to know that Stevie was the dog for her. Now she shares the joy she’s found in her canine family by helping others to adopt.

"I awkwardly scooped her up, flipped her over, looked in her eyes and it was all over. Right there in the aisles of Petco, I declared, This is my dog."

“If three years ago I showed you a video of the reaction you just had, you wouldn’t believe it was you,” my husband stated as I blubbered over a dog I had never met on Instagram. While I have always loved dogs (and spent my childhood begging for one), I finally adopted the love of my life, Stevie, from Muddy Paws Rescue NYC at an adoption event outside of Petco in Manhattan’s Union Square in 2017.

Adopted Dog Stevie

I never could have imagined the life-changing impact Stevie would have on me and my husband. Unable to keep that kind of love to myself, I began volunteering with Muddy Paws Rescue to enable others to feel the same kind of insane love we feel for Stevie. I spend about 20 hours/month volunteering with Muddy Paws Rescue doing everything from answering emails from prospective adopters, to training new volunteers, and even cleaning out dirty crates at adoption events. No matter what the task, I do it happily because I see the impact that every single adoption has not only on the dog but also the family who takes them home. Each time I watch the family walk away with their new dog, I remember the feeling of walking home with Stevie for the first time unable to believe that she was really ours. It is a joy I could never have imagined, and because of Stevie, I get to re-live it at every adoption event.

Adopted Dog Stevie

The day we took Stevie home, adoption was not in our plan. We went to ask about fostering, learn about the adoption process and thought we would adopt some time in the coming months. Before I knew it, my husband was asking to meet the beautiful beagle mix sitting quietly in her crate. Undeniably adorable, she quickly curled up in my lap and fell asleep. Determined to stay strong and not make an impulse decision, Muddy Paws Rescue encouraged us to walk around Petco and give it some thought in a quieter place. A stranger advised us to pick her up and cradle her like a baby to see if she was docile. I awkwardly scooped her up, flipped her over, looked in her eyes and it was all over. Right there in the aisles of Petco, I declared, “This is my dog.”

Adopted Dog Stevie

A few weeks later, a neighbor I’d never met stopped to chat in the hallway as we were coming home from a walk. This is not common in a New York City apartment building. He asked if I adopted her at Petco, and it clicked that he is the one who told me to hold her like a baby. In that instant, she became MY baby. In a giant city like New York, a stranger in Petco cemented us as a family. I often think about not only how Stevie changed our lives, but how my love for her has allowed me to be a part of giving that same feeling to 3,500 other families and dogs whose lives have been forever changed by Muddy Paws Rescue.

Adopted Dog Stevie

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 Elizabeth won Muddy Paws Rescue in Long Island, New York a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.