It's Been a Tough Couple of Years

By PetcoFoundation on Jan. 31, 2017


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. Kim Twiss submitted this story about the dog she adopted from Jasper Animal Rescue Mission in Ridgeland, South Carolina.

It had been a tough couple of years.

I lost my two dogs, boxer/shepherd brothers, to cancer.

I had to sell my house in Florida, moved in with my mother and then took a leap of faith and accepted a job in Bluffton, South Carolina. For the first time in my life, I moved to an area with no friends or family—I was totally alone.

Once I arrived in South Carolina, I started volunteering as a photographer at the Jasper Animal Rescue Mission and spent every weekend photographing adoptable pets.

When you don't know anyone, it's really easy to work long hours and then spend weekends volunteering at the animal shelter without any real connections. I knew I was simply surviving but didn’t know how to change.

I remember the first time I saw Spirit, she was playing with a young boy in one of the exercise yards. 

She had been brought to Jasper Animal Rescue with her four small puppies. On the day I spotted her, Spirit’s last puppy had been adopted and she, too, was all alone.


I went to visit and feed her treats. She was alone and without family. I was in that same place.

After Spirit underwent heartworm treatment, I was able to take her on a photo shoot. The next weekend I brought her home, and she curled up on the couch with me as I edited the photos of adoptable pets from that day. The feeling of her head laying on my leg brought tears to my eyes. I had forgotten how wonderful that felt.

The next day, Spirit and I got up early and started our adventure at Hunting Island Beach. She LOVED the ocean and played in the surf for over an hour. My heart broke when I had to take her back to the shelter later that day.PetcoFoundation_Jasper-Animal-Rescue-Mission_HolidayWishes4.jpg

I made a video of her beach adventure, and it was viewed over 2,000 times on Facebook. A week went by and then another. No one came to adopt her.

I had a trip planned to visit my daughter in Dallas, Texas, and decided that if Spirit wasn’t adopted before I returned, she was going home with me.

That was five months ago. Spirit has taught me that I have to take the time to enjoy each day. Instead of working long hours to come home to an empty house, I now leave work on time in a rush to pick up “My Spirit.”

A couple that lives in my neighborhood also has an adopted dog, and now Spirit gets to spend every work day with this wonderful retired couple and their dog, Cheyanne.PetcoFoundation_Jasper-Animal-Rescue-Mission_HolidayWishes3.jpg

Because of Spirit, I now take the time for long walks and at least one day a month we return to where it all started, Hunting Beach.

People I meet say they are proud of me for rescuing Spirit. If the truth is told, we rescued each other. 

Add some love to your life. Learn more about adoptions at Petco.

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