Adopted Dog Inspires Teenager to Help Pets in Need

Jingle’s love and compassion led 14-year-old Elisa to help other adoptable pets at her local shelter.

Elisa + Jingle

After 14-year-old Elisa got the dog she had always dreamed of adopting, she was motivated to help other pets in need and spread the word about the importance of fostering and adopting.

"I knew I wanted people to experience a heart-warming transformation, just like I did when Jingle became family. I encouraged others to adopt and foster animals from their local animal shelters. I created a resource-filled blog (Furry Snippets), donated fifty blankets, and made 110 tug toys from used T-shirts. The donations benefited Palm Valley Animal Society’s shelter pets."

For seven years, I begged my family to adopt a dog. I longed for the day when I could embrace a furry bundle of joy and watch her face light up in excitement. Then, one unforgettable Christmas Eve, my dream came true. My parents surprised us with a certificate from our local animal shelter, Palm Valley Animal Society, to adopt our own dog! After spending hours scouring the shelter for the newest addition to our family, I spotted the most adorable, playful puppy I’ve ever seen. Her eyes twinkled with mischief as she played peek-a-boo, bounding from one side of the glass to the other. Immediately, our family knew this puppy, Jingle, was the perfect dog for us.

Two years ago, I moved to a new school. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anyone. I left my closest friends and former soccer teammates behind. I vividly remember sobbing for several nights. Each time, Jingle sensitively stayed by my side and licked every tear away until I stopped crying. She hates seeing me in any pain or sadness, so Jingle will do anything to cheer me up. I truly couldn’t ask for a better friend.

Jingle’s adoption created ripples across the Rio Grande Valley. As a Girl Scout Cadette, I earned my Silver Award, a prestigious award given for making a notable difference in the community. I knew I wanted people to experience a heart-warming transformation, just like I did when Jingle became family. I encouraged others to adopt and foster animals from their local animal shelters. I created a resource-filled blog (Furry Snippets), donated fifty blankets, and made 110 tug toys from used T-shirts. The donations benefited Palm Valley Animal Society’s shelter pets. This project influenced countless girl scouts, friends, family, and people on social media. It’s incredible to see how one humble dog inspired an initiative that continues to impact so many.

Jingle encourages me to be a better person every day. Jingle’s selflessness speaks volumes. Even though my sister dresses her like a princess, complete with a matching tiara and cape, Jingle patiently remains calm. Jingle’s understanding persona motivates me to be kind, even when I’m irritated. No matter the circumstance, she is always incredibly compassionate. Jingle transformed my life forever. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, she will stay by my side through every step of life’s journey. Her extraordinary personality and unending love inspire me every day. As Charles Yu once said, “If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am.”

Each year, Petco Love Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Elisa won Palm Valley Animal Society in Edinburg, Texas a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.