Adopted Dog Makes Three

After a heartbreaking loss, Emily, Tripp, and Ingrid Anchovy find a new beginning together.

Emily + Ingrid

Emily and Tripp were devastated by the loss of their infant son. Slowly, a dog named Ingrid Anchovy helped their hearts begin to heal.

"When Ingrid goes through the bathroom trash, makes a mess in the house or steals socks from the laundry pile, it’s a reminder to let the small stuff go and hold the good things tight."

Adopted Dog Ingrid

My husband Tripp and I welcomed our first child, a baby boy named Wade, on February 6. We were over the moon to become parents and meet the sweet baby who made us a mom and a dad. Five days later, due to unknown circumstances, Wade suddenly died. Our world and the future we had envisioned for ourselves came crumbling down.

I’ve described the feeling as seeing the world in black and white. All the color and light and joy drained from our existence. The pain, heartache, longing and anger were agonizing and playing on repeat day after day. We received dozens of visitors in those first few weeks. I can’t recall who, but one bravely suggested we consider adopting a puppy. I say “brave” because it’d be easy to think we’d be offended at the notion we bring home a pet instead of our son. I was secretly grateful the idea was out in the open. I’d had the same one. When I admitted the idea to Tripp, he said he’d been thinking the same thing.

Adopted Dog Ingrid

We asked friends and family for shelter recommendations and decided to visit Cape Ann Animal Aid in Gloucester. About six weeks after Wade died, we took a drive up the coast to Gloucester on a Friday after work. In the car, I remember saying I wanted a girl puppy that I’d name Peggy. When we arrived at the shelter, we were immediately smitten with a rescue from Texas with dark, woeful eyes. But she wasn’t a Peggy. She was an Ingrid. And when she wiggled her hips she looked just like a fish, so we tacked on “anchovy.” Ingrid Anchovy.

Adopted Dog Ingrid

Even though she’s black and white herself, Ingrid has helped me and Tripp to see in color again. We take walks with her every day along the ocean, just as I’d envisioned myself doing with Wade. On the hard days, she’s there to snuggle and on the not-so-hard days she delights us with her puppy antics. Perhaps most importantly, she’s given us someone to forgive. When Ingrid goes through the bathroom trash, makes a mess in the house or steals socks from the laundry pile, it’s a reminder to let the small stuff go and hold the good things tight.

Adopted Dog Ingrid

We still hope to grow our family and give Ingrid a baby brother or sister one day. For now, we’re grateful for this unplanned, unexpected family we find ourselves in. It’s not the way things were supposed to be, but we love her just the same.

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 Emily won Cape Ann Animal Aid Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.