Adopted Dog Shows Her Mom How to Choose Love in the Face of Hate

Thanks to Butter the dog, pet mom Yukari finds a loving and supportive pack.

Yukari + Butter

When Yukari experienced a racist incident on the streets of New York, her dog Butter’s comfort and care showed her that love can prevail. With Butter’s help, Yukari found strength and encouragement in her local community of pet parents, who rallied around Yukari and Butter to help them feel safe again.

"Butter connected me with a community of pet parents who are empathetic and generous in spirit—and reminded me that even when faced with hate and fear, I must continue to choose love and trust."

Butter jumped up on me as I opened the door. Ears back and tail wagging profusely, she is so excited she can’t contain her happy yelping, and she licks me all over. Her sweet brown eyes look at mine, full of love. This was a huge contrast to the eyes full of hate I experienced minutes ago outside. 

I was spat on the face that morning. It was a beautiful sunny May morning in New York City. I was coming out of the doctor’s office with my hand placed on my growing baby bump when a woman looked straight into my eyes and charged at me. She yelled, “ching chong chong” and spat at me, her warm saliva dripped down my face. I’d seen the rise of anti-Asian hate and the terrible violence [against the AAPI community] happening across the country in the media, and I thought I was prepared if anything were to happen to me. But I stood there motionless and sobbed at the busy intersection of 4th Avenue and 12th Street. 

I am usually in a happy mood when I return to Butter, but that day I came home shattered. Sensing that something was off, Butter immediately calmed down and came to my side. She placed her head on my shoulder and let me bury my tears in the soft white fur around her neck.  She sat with me, licked away my tears, and reminded me what unconditional love looks like. 

I could have easily shut down and stayed inside for the next few days or weeks, but Butter reminded me that I can’t hide forever. She needed to go outside, and I needed to muster up my courage and take her. 

Butter pulled me straight to her favorite dog park, despite my wanting to avoid people. As I shared the story of my morning incident with others, our community of dog lovers showed up. Falafel the Terrier mix’s dad walked me and Butter back to our apartment building that evening. Then the next day, Zoe the Pitbull’s mom met me to walk together. 

Butter connected me with a community of pet parents who are empathetic and generous in spirit — and reminded me that even when faced with hate and fear, I must continue to choose love and trust. 

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share 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 Yukari won Heart & Bones Rescue in New York City, NY a 2021 Love Stories award.