Adopted Dog Supports Woman Through Fertility Journey

Natasha’s first steps on her journey to motherhood began with an adopted dog named Indy.

Natasha + Indy

Natasha and her husband looked forward to welcoming a baby into their family, but their fertility journey brought challenges. Their adopted dog, Indy, was by their side for all of it: offering love, companionship, and support.

"Indy was by my side throughout those heartbreaks and tears. I didn't want to be around people, so Indy was my best friend and companion. She knew when I was feeling sad and would cuddle next to me on the couch or jump on our bed to lie next to me."

Indy came into our lives at the perfect, but spontaneous, time. When we visited Lifeline Puppy Rescue during Christmas 2018, we didn’t know we would walk away with the scruffy black and white puppy we saw on the website. I had begged my husband to get a puppy since we were having trouble getting pregnant and I wanted to grow the family—if not with a baby why not a puppy? 

Indy, named after Independence Day since her rescue number was 1776, has been a big part of our family since day one and the most surprising thing was how she became my therapy dog during our fertility challenges, pregnancy, and long days in the NICU. For almost two years we were faced with challenges, whether a miscarriage or failed IVF, but Indy was by my side throughout all of those heartbreaks and tears. I didn’t want to be around people, so Indy was my best friend and companion. She knew when I was feeling sad and would cuddle next to me on the couch or jump on our bed to lie next to me. 

Finally, after a successful IVF cycle, we were pregnant with a baby girl and Indy was the first to know (she actually knew before the test!). During the first two trimesters, Indy was my buddy to go on walks and even backcountry ski. This was all during COVID so we took her on a minimum of three walks a day—as part Border Collie, Indy has a lot of energy and needs to be walked! 

At 32 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and transferred to the big hospital in Denver for an emergency c-section. Peyton Lucille was born 8 weeks early and lived the first two months of her life in the NICU at two different hospitals. We had to move to Denver for a month so we could visit Peyton in the NICU twice a day. Indy was with us in Denver and never left our sight (except she couldn’t go into the hospital). It was very stressful and emotional to leave our baby in the hospital, but once we were home after the visits, Indy was soothing and comforted us through those times. Our many walks with Indy each day allowed us to unwind after the hospital visits and get some fresh air.

Indy was always by our side and knew there was a big sister on her way home. Peyton Lucille has been home for over a month now and as the big furry sister, Indy has a new “job” to protect and love this little human. This entire journey would have been very different if we hadn’t adopted Indy three years ago, and we know she will be a big part of Peyton’s life.

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 Natasha won Lifeline Puppy Rescue in Brighton, Colorado a 2021 Love Stories award.