Adopted Dog Saves Puppies and Kittens with Unconditional Love
Piper’s maternal instincts have given other adoptable pets a second chance.
Sherri + Piper
Piper lost her own litter shortly after she was rescued but turned her gift of care to other adoptable pets in need. Today she helps pets and people with her special breed of love.
"I quickly realized that Piper was happiest when she was caring for babies — and we brought home another litter of puppies and some kittens. She loved all — grooming, comforting, teaching and playing with every foster baby we brought her."
Her tag reads “Piper. Best Dog Ever.” We had it made after less than a week in our care but it soon became a self-fulfilling prophecy. She was rescued, as are countless thousands, from an unlivable environment by Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL) and was my first critical rescue. Five of six puppies didn’t make it, and I sincerely believe it was the loss of her babies that drove Piper to become a perpetual rescue mom.
On her first night at home as a foster, she endured hours of triage — finally falling asleep with her head in the food bowl while we continued picking fleas from her worn body. Within days of her arrival she could sit, stay, shake hands and give kisses on command. I had the tag made then but I had no idea how much this “best dog ever” would change my life, making me into a perpetual rescue mom as well.
Only days after her surviving puppy came home to be rehabbed, a litter of orphaned pups was dumped at our local shelter. Piper went with me to pick them up; she then deposited each in her nursing pool and cared for them as her own until each was adopted. I quickly realized that Piper was happiest when she was caring for babies — and we brought home another litter of puppies and some kittens. She loved all — grooming, comforting, teaching and playing with every foster baby we brought her. A kitten scheduled to be euthanized with a macerated foot? She loved her into a gorgeous Russian Blue baby who was quickly adopted. Four fat puppies who were terrified of the vet? She went along and comforted them during exams. A tiny kitten tossed out of a moving vehicle? She took that baby with her everywhere until Leona became a confident, gorgeous, kitten. And 73 kittens and 13 puppies later… Piper models grace, patience, unconditional love, and forgiveness.
For the last three years, Piper has gone to work with me, first at a law office and later to the classroom when I returned to teaching; she knew exactly when it was time to leave, stopping whatever she was doing to stand by the door. It has only been three years since the best dog ever chose me and became the support dog I never knew I needed. During that time she has also chosen a few other animals to join our family. Two cats and one VERY naughty hound puppy have bonded to Piper in such measurable ways that we simply let her keep them. Last week she visited a classroom of fifth-graders and helped me educate them about reducing the homeless pet population, care and treatment of animals, and the importance of community support for animal advocacy.
Piper is kind, brave, and loving — exactly the kind of mother I strive to be both to my human and fur children. Piper’s purpose? The “best dog ever” is helping me to become a better human.
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 Sherri won Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL) in Ocala, Florida a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.