Curtis + Island

Adopted Dog Helps Man Overcome Health Issues

every gift saves lives

every gift saves lives

Curtis + Island

I have diabetes and always found it impossible to exercise regularly with my busy schedule. I was at a point where I just couldn’t make any progress on battling it.

When our son, Doni, moved out and took his dog Matrix with him, my wife said we needed another dog. I agreed on the condition that it was a younger dog that I could walk regularly, like a couple of times a week.

"In the end, Island chose us. She laid across our laps and made herself ours."

We went to visit Ruff House Rescue to see the available dogs and how the adoption process worked. We told Melissa our story, and she introduced us to several possible dogs.

We were ready to go home and give it some more thought. But there was no way that Melissa was going to let us leave Ruff House Rescue without a dog. We told her that we didn’t have a pet carrier; she lent us one. We told her that we didn’t have the adoption fee; she worked out the finances with us.

The only thing left was for us to pick a dog. That wasn’t easy because Melissa had introduced us to several really great dogs. In the end, Island chose us. She laid across our laps and made herself ours.

We made a quick trip to a pet store to get a few essentials, like chew bones and tennis balls, and then loaded the cage and Island into our car. Before we left, I asked how often Island needed to be walked. They said three times a day—not three times a week, but three times every day.

Well, that was over three months and two pairs of sneakers ago – not including the ones she has snacked on. Island has walked me at least three times a day, every day. I can’t even calculate how many miles we have walked so far.

When I wake up in the morning, Island is at the door with her tail wagging and ready to go. When I get home from work, Island is at the door to greet me with a royal welcome, including a lick on the face.  And she won’t let me go to bed without another walk. No leisurely strolls for Island either. She keeps me moving at a rapid pace. When she spots a cat or a squirrel—well, I never knew I could move so fast.

Since adopting Island, my blood sugar levels have dropped dramatically, and I have lost close to 20 pounds. But most importantly, Island has added so much love into our lives.

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 Curtis Weiss won Ruff House Rescue in Oceanside, New York a 2016 Holiday Wishes award.