Adopted Dog Lifts Nurse’s Spirits Through a Pandemic

Bella’s sweet, affectionate spirit gives Melissa strength and support.

Melissa + Bella

Bella’s love and compassion help Melissa, an emergency room nurse, get the support she needs to care for others through COVID-19.

"While there was a lot of uncertainty in the world, having Bella made it a whole lot better. No matter how difficult the day was, I would come home to Bella who greeted me with love, affection, and lots of kisses."

I had been looking for a best friend and companion to adopt for over six months. Time after time I came up short, until one day I came across a small lost dog on the Kansas City Lost and Found Pet Facebook page. The dog was being taken to Kansas City Pet Project. I immediately fell in love, and knew this dog was meant to be adopted by me. I contacted Kansas City Pet Project to place an early hold on the dog I would soon call Bella. Upon meeting her, she was happy and energetic. She would wag her tail and smile the entire time I stood outside her cage. I visited her two times until her five-day stray hold was up.

Bringing Bella home was one of the best days of my life. Shortly after Bella’s adoption, the city was quarantined for Coronavirus. What I did not know is that Bella would be my support system during the quarantine. I am an emergency room nurse who works on the front lines of the Coronavirus pandemic. This means working long hours and taking care of patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Working as an emergency room nurse during the Coronavirus pandemic was even more challenging. While there was a lot of uncertainty in the world, having Bella made it a whole lot better. No matter how difficult the day was, I would come home to Bella who greeted me with love, affection, and lots of kisses. Coming home to Bella made bad days into good days. 

Adopting Bella from Kansas City Pet Project has been one of the best things to come out of 2020 and the pandemic. I was recently awarded the DAISY Award; a recognition for extraordinary nurses. I credit receiving this award to Bella as she fills my bucket with energy, inspiring me to provide greater compassion and care for my patients at work. She is lovable, happy, and always provides a tail wag and kiss to anyone she meets: she knows no stranger. 

I am now approaching six months with Bella and I can’t even imagine my life without her. Bella makes me feel whole, and she brings so much joy and energy into my life. Some of our favorite things to do are going to get pup cups, going on walks, visiting dog parks, and shopping at the pet store. Thank you, Kansas City Pet Project, for saving Bella and countless animals every year.

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 Melissa won Kansas City Pet Project in Kansas City, Missouri a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.