Adopted Dog Gives Back
Dwight needed a second chance. Now he’s helping others get back on their feet.
Anita + Dwight
From making sure his mom gets her daily walks, to volunteering at a memory care facility, Dwight is making the most of his second chance.
"Our morning walks in nature are inspiring to us both. We tune out our pasts, mindful of the sounds of the creek, the crunch of leaves, the feel of the sun, and the smell of the air."
I’m a fan of second chances. I try hard to forgive and forget. I’ll try the sour candy twice before refusing it completely. I’ve never regretted allowing a shelter dog a second chance, by adopting. Maybe that’s why I was given a new lease on life nine years ago when I learned to walk again after being in a wheelchair for months.
Even during my recovery, dogs were a big part of my life. In the hospital, my family would often recruit available therapy dogs to come to my room. Most of all, it was my dog Trudy who helped me through this difficult time. I was devastated when she passed away. Though I knew I couldn’t fill the void, I started the search for another dog once my kids moved out.
During my search, I came across Fetch a Cure’s Pixie’s Pen Pals program. It was there that I found Dwight, a Hound mix with mischievous brown eyes lined with black and long, velvet ears framing a chiseled snout. He was receiving training at Lunenburg Correctional Center. I clicked on the “adoption process” icon and started the paperwork. I was going to prison to see a man about a dog.
I met Dwight in the day room at the prison. I watched as his inmate handler proudly walked him around the room. Dwight’s eyes were soulful and sincere. He was tall and skinny and loped around the room like a baby fawn. I already loved him.
Dwight has been with us for almost three years. He knows that I need to walk every day. He sticks his snout up under my arm every morning while I’m eating breakfast, reminding me, encouraging me. There are many days I want to skip the exercise, but my D Man won’t allow it. Our morning walks in nature are inspiring to us both. We tune out our pasts, mindful of the sounds of the creek, the crunch of leaves, the feel of the sun, and the smell of the air.
I have always seen potential in Dwight. Much like the therapy dogs who visited me in the hospital, he was gentle and loving, comical and sweet. I knew he could help people, and it would be a great way for us both to give back. Dwight and I passed our Canine Good Citizen certification together, and now he brings joy to a memory care facility once a week. When donned in his harness and short green leash, Dwight becomes a working dog. His soft howl brings smiles to all. Many residents don’t know what day it is, but they know Dwight. He gets hugs and smiles from all. I am so thankful that he and I have this opportunity.
My long-legged pup is my best friend. I love his inquisitiveness and zest for life. I am grateful for each step I take with this wonderful, wacky dog, and I am happy to share this phase of the journey with him. Giving back. Our second chance. Together.
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 Anita won Fetch a Cure in Richmond, Virginia a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.