Beagle Mix Helps Runner Get Back on Her Feet

After an injury, there’s no better painkiller than a cute puppy.

every gift saves lives

every gift saves lives

Nicole + Brantley Jacob

I’m an avid runner. Last year, I ended up suffering a herniated disc a few months before I was scheduled to run the Walt Disney World Marathon. I was upset and in constant pain, but I was trying to work through the injury with physical therapy and get back to running.

One day, we were having an adoption event at my work, so I went with some coworkers to see all of the cute animals. I had radiating pain down my leg and was actually scheduled to go to the doctor that night, but I had been thinking about adopting a beagle for a while. My friend told me that there was a beagle mix at the event, and when I walked over to that adorable little puppy named Jacob, I immediately fell in love.

"I was glad I could help him get over his illness just like he helped me recover from my injury."

I completely forgot about how much pain I was in when I looked at this dog. That’s when I knew I needed to adopt him. When I told the organizers of the event I wanted to take Jacob home it was the happiest moment of my life. I renamed him Brantley (after Brantley Gilbert), but I kept Jacob as his middle name.

I took Brantley back to my desk and finished off the day of work. Later, I decided to take him to the local Petco instead of going to my doctor’s appointment. I had never owned a dog before, so I asked a lot of questions about what to buy and the staff there ended up helping me so much. I signed up for puppy classes that day. Thanks to Petco, Brantley is now an AKC Canine Good Citizen.

When I adopted Brantley, he had Giardia and I was able to provide him all of the medicine he needed. I was glad I could help him get over his illness just like he helped me recover from my injury. I ended up running the marathon after all, in the best time I had ever done. I truly think I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Brantley.

Brantley joins me on my short runs now and absolutely loves it. He’s very athletic. We’ve done a K9 companion race as well as a 6K for Team World Vision. He’s the best running buddy and best friend I could ever ask for. I love him more than anything and I am so happy that I went to that adoption event last October. Brantley changed my life.

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 Nicole Devine won Anderson Animal Shelter in Illinois a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.