Sydney + Carlee

Adopted dog gives unconditional love to three sisters who needed a big hug

every gift saves lives

every gift saves lives

Sydney + Carlee

Once upon a time, there were four children whose world crashed down around them. As they tried to pick up the pieces, there was always one piece missing.

Little did they know that there was a furry little girl whose world was crashing down around her too. She was missing a piece too.

"That piece was unconditional love"

Hi, I’m Sydney. Two years ago, my parents told me they would be getting a divorce.

Needless to say, my siblings and I were distraught. Our home environment had taken quite the turn. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and we were home-schooled. I enrolled in public school, and my mom went to work full time and was trying to figure out how this whole thing was going to work out.

I spent my free time looking at abandoned dogs online. Feeling abandoned myself, I kind of felt we had that in common. The next step was to convince my mom that we needed a dog. She didn’t need much convincing; she was onboard with it. Two of my sisters are from the local foster care system, so this whole rescue thing isn’t a new concept to her.

Carlee

We didn’t look long. Mom found Needy Paws Rescue on Facebook and asked if they had a sweet pit bull who was good with kids and other dogs. They suggested we meet Carlee.

Carlee had been severely neglected and starved. She was skin and bones. How could anyone do this to such a sweet girl? Her ears were lopped off too. Just like my foster sisters, Carlee needed a loving home.

I will never forget the day we went to see Carlee. She wouldn’t get off our laps. She licked and kissed us, almost as if she knew she was going home with us. Who am I fooling? She did know! We asked if we could have her.

We adopted Carlee, and it wasn’t long before she fit right in. She was quick to give us the love and affection we all needed. She is always by our side, and we are always by hers. After the divorce, we were all broken in some way, missing that one piece. For Carlee, it was a loving home; for us, it was the unconditional love that only Carlee could give us.

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 Misty Veltman won Needy Paws Rescue in St. Louis, Missouri a 2016 Holiday Wishes award.