Adopted Dog Gets Her Big Day

Jacey finds her happily ever after with pet dads Dylan and Greg.

Dylan + Jacey

With their wedding postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacey helped Dylan and Greg find the beauty in a change of plans through her love and affection.

"On her first day with us, our shared affection brought me to tears. As she licked my salty face, I realized: my partner chose me and I chose him, we chose Jacey, and she chose us."

2020 was going to be our year. Greg and I were the happiest kind of busy; planning a fall wedding together. It was late winter, and save-the-dates were already on their way out when New York City went on lockdown. We spent months inside, frightened but thankful to have food, shelter, our health, and each other. Still, something was missing. Greg and I had been wanting to adopt a pet for years, but we kept telling ourselves “wedding first, dog second.” Through the spring, our plans for a ceremony and reception continued in hopes that by autumn, the world would re-open in time for us to get married. By the time summer rolled around, friends and family in fragile health began expressing concern at the notion of traveling for our big day. It became clear that the celebration we envisioned wouldn’t be possible until 2021. Maybe that would be our year. When we told Greg’s mom about postponing the wedding, she gave us some beautiful advice: “Do something for your hearts.” That was the moment his eyes caught mine and we said in unison, “We’re getting a dog.”

The rest of the summer was spent researching rescue organizations and looking for adoptable dogs. Greg had been following Korean K9 Rescue for a while, but it wasn’t until he showed me Jacey that I knew we had to apply right away. Like the night he and I met seven years ago, we could both tell this was love at first sight. To our pleasant surprise, the process was swift. Jacey was all we could talk about the week before meeting her. It was a whirlwind of excitement and preparation I’ll never forget. Suddenly, we felt the happy kind of busy again. “Dog first, wedding second,” became our new mantra. Greg and I are bona fide dog lovers (he grew up with a Lab and I was raised by Basset Hounds) so we knew we would love Jacey before ever meeting her. What I didn’t expect was the new depth of love all three of us would come to find for one another as a family. 

On her first day with us, our shared affection brought me to tears. As she licked my salty face, I realized: my partner chose me and I chose him, we chose Jacey, and she chose us. She’s still a puppy, but it already feels like we’ve known her a lifetime. As a gay couple, Greg and I don’t take anything for granted. The right to marry who you love hasn’t always been a given, and in many places, it still isn’t. Growing up, neither of us dared to even dream of a wedding. Though we couldn’t have predicted a global health crisis postponing this year’s plans, somehow we feel more fortunate than ever. Jacey is a wish come true, and in that way, 2020 was our year after all. Besides, when Greg and I do finally tie the knot, we couldn’t imagine a cuter ring-bearer.

Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Dylan won Korean K9 Rescue in Middle Village, New York a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.